Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is showing its support for the fifth annual Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week.
In recent years the Trust has introduced initiatives and made changes across a range of areas to ensure that the needs of Swindon and Wiltshire’s diverse population are met when accessing healthcare.
Nearly 50 hearing loop systems are in use at the Great Western Hospital to help patients and visitors with hearing aids block out distracting background noise.
Interpreters are also readily available for all non-English speaking people, while the Trust website has recently been reviewed by local teenagers to ensure that all online content can be accessed and understood by younger people.
As well as new and essential equality and diversity training for staff, those patients with dementia can now be looked after in a special environment designed with their needs firmly in mind.
Nerissa Vaughan, Chief Executive and Chair of the Equality and Diversity Working Group, said: “We have a catchment area made up of so many unique and diverse communities and it’s important that all our services can be easily accessed, regardless of any person’s age, race, sex, gender or disability.
“Our equality and diversity work is more than just a box-ticking exercise, it’s about making real changes that have a positive impact on real patients.
“Our Ear, Nose and Throat team have been visiting a young man with Down’s syndrome, autism and learning disabilities at home as the hospital environment is one that is difficult for him to adapt to.
“It’s stories like this that show how small changes can make all the difference to some members of our community.”
Taking place every year in May, Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week celebrates the positive work taking place across the NHS to ensure that all its services are accessible and that patients, visitors and staff are always free from discrimination.
In keeping with this year’s theme of Making Change Happen, the Trust has revamped the Equality and Diversity section of its website, which now includes updates of the work happening locally to support Equality and Diversity.
For more information on what’s being done in Swindon and Wiltshire, speak to the Trust’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service team on 01793 604031 or visit www.gwh.nhs.uk.