From an article by Katherine Talbot, senior accessibility and usability consultant at AbilityNet We’ve had many years of experience in making websites and apps more accessible for our clients across a range of sectors, from banks to airports, charities and government. Sometimes clients are unclear about the difference between usability and accessibility. And, it can…
A new strategy that will strengthen Welsh language services to meet the care needs of Welsh speakers, their families and carers has been launched. Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services, Gwenda Thomas said “Many Welsh speakers can only express their care needs effectively through the medium of Welsh. For example, people suffering from dementia and people who have a stroke often lose a grasp of their second language. Children under the age of five can often only speak their first language. The aim of the framework is to improve the quality of care by ensuring those who provide services recognise that it is their responsibility to respond to people’s need or wish to be cared for through the medium of Welsh.”
Learning Disability Wales has developed a website to enable people with learning disabilities and their families to find accessible information about health and wellbeing. The website is called Easy Read Health Wales and has been rigorously tested by the Digital Accessibility Centre to ensure that it is as accessible as possible for anyone with a disability. The web site includes Easy Read information about healthy living including the importance of exercise and healthy eating as well as the dangers of smoking and drinking too much alcohol. Along with creating a handbook on Making Easy Read Information, they are also developing an evaluation Tool for checking the quality of accessible information.
Healthwatch England, the new national, statutory consumer champion for health and social care in England, launched this week. Healthwatch England will be part of a new Healthwatch network from April 2013, giving people who use health and social care services a powerful voice locally and nationally. Their job is to give a national voice to the key issues that affect people who use health and care services; using evidence based on real experiences to highlight national issues and trends and raise these at the highest levels and; actively seek views from all sections of the community – not just from those who shout the loudest, but especially from those who sometimes struggle to be heard.
A revised version of the information leaflet about the personal health budgets pilot programme, in easy read format is published.
Personal health budgets is one of the ideas that the NHS is working on to try to make it easier for people to get the NHS care that is best suited to them.
This report from the Health Foundation gives the findings from an independent evaluation of phase 1 of their Co-creating Health self-management support improvement programme.The first phase of Co-Creating Health began in 2007. It was a three year initiative in eight sites across the UK that aimed to demonstrate the impact, on clinicians and patients alike, of integrating self-management support into routine care for people with long-term conditions. The evaluation of the programme provides valuable insights into what worked and the further challenges health systems need to address to support people to develop confidence in managing their long-term conditions themselves.
myhealth@QEHB is a patient records portal developed by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB). It allows patients in long-term care to remotely access much of their clinical information held at the hospital, including their letters and laboratory results. Patients can submit information direct to their consultant, allowing them to instantly see the updates and respond where necessary. Patients can store and share files pertaining to their health on the system, view and add their own appointments at and away from the hospital, interact with each other within the portal and create their own support networks.
The Patient Rights (Scotland) Act was passed by the Scottish Government in February 2011. The Act created the Patient Advice and Support Service (PASS), an independent service which provides free, accessible and confidential advice and support to patients, their carers and families about NHS healthcare. The Patient Advice and Support Service is provided by the Scottish CAB Service and can be accessed from any Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) in Scotland. The Service provides general advice and help on a range of issues, such as housing, employment, benefits or money worries.
One in three people are now using social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter for health related issues according to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The study, which surveyed more than 1,000 consumers and 124 healthcare executives in the US, showed people are using social media to influence decisions to seek care and to find answers to their medical wants, needs and preferences. The Health Research Institute arm of PWC monitored social media traffic for a week, and found that patients are choosing to obtain medical information from community or patient sites rather than those set up by healthcare organisations.
This booklet from the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) aims to make women and their families aware of the treatment and care they should expect to receive if they have a mood disorder during pregnancy and after the birth of their child. It also aims to help women, their partners and their families to manage their condition by understanding the latest research evidence. The booklet is based on the recommendations from the SIGN national clinical guideline on perinatal mood disorders.