Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: Patients, Carers and Visitors

A nurse speaking with a patient

Acknowledging and valuing the diversity of each patient, carer and visitor is vital to ensuring a positive patient experience. As a Trust, we are committed to designing and delivering our services around the needs of individual patients and their families.

Reasonable adjustments

Every person with a disability, health condition or impairment, who attends our hospitals, should receive care and treatment that is of the highest quality. Improving our approach to support disabled people, whether that be in the environment, in how we do things, or in the way we communicate, is known as making ‘reasonable adjustments.’

Examples of reasonable adjustments which can be made include:

  • Arranging the first or the last appointment of the day,
  • Arranging a double appointment,
  • Using tools such as pictures or images to support communication,
  • Communicating via technology, such as a tablet or telephone,
  • Providing information on other formats, such as easy read or braille,
  • Separate waiting areas (if available),
  • Flexible visiting (if appropriate).

If you think you may need any kind of adjustment when attending our Trust, please contact the ward or department. You may also find it useful to read our Learning Disabilities and Carers pages.

To find out how we provide information in different formats and support people with disabilities who have communication needs, view our Communication Support page.

If you have any questions or concerns about your access to care, our facilities, or how we are meeting your needs, please contact the PALS team on 01743 261691 / 01952 282888 or email sath.pals@nhs.net.

Q: What facilities are available for disabled parking?

A:   Parking spaces for disabled people (Blue Badge holders) are located around each hospital site. There are access ramps at all the main entrances.

At the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, this includes:

  • Outside the Treatment Centre;
  • Outside the Hummingbird Centre; and,
  • Outside the main entrance to Outpatients.

At the Princess Royal Hospital, this includes:

  • Outside the main entrance.

Disabled parking spaces are marked on the hospital maps, which can be found on our site maps page.

Q: Are there accessible toilets on the hospital site?

A: There are a number of accessible toilets available around the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital.

All our accessible toilets are also stoma-friendly, by the provision of a hook, shelf, mirror and disposal bin.

Q: Do I need to tell hospital staff that I have a disability?

A: If you tell the Trust about a disability, this can be entered onto the hospital administrative system (SEMA-Helix) to ‘alert’ staff to your needs.

It is very helpful if you can inform us of any reasonable adjustments you may require, prior to visiting the hospital, so that we can ensure your needs are met.

Q: I have a physical impairment and will be an inpatient at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals, do I need to tell anyone in advance?

A: The Trust can provide equipment on the ward to support inpatients who have a physical disability. It is very helpful if you can inform us of what equipment you will need, prior to your admission, so that we can arrange for it to be ready.

If you wish to bring your own equipment, please label it clearly with your name and address.

Q: I have a learning disability, what support will I receive from hospital staff?

A: We ask patients who have a learning disability to bring their patient passports, when they come into hospital, so that we can learn more about you and how best to support you.

The Trust can provide reasonable adjustments, such as: providing easy read information; flexible visiting; longer appointment times; or, separate waiting areas, where possible.

The Learning Disability Acute Liaison Team can also provide support patients who have a learning disability throughout their hospital journey; by, for example, supporting pre-admission/discharge planning and enabling effective communication.

Q: I have a hearing impairment, what measures will the hospital take to help me communicate with staff?

A: Wards and departments have received clear guidelines about how to communicate with individuals who have a hearing impairment. During Deaf Awareness Week, the Trust launched Deaf Awareness Badges which say ‘speak clearly, I have hearing loss’ to help make other people aware of communication needs. Patients and staff can request these badges.

If you need access to a hearing loop during your appointment or meeting, please let us know prior to your visit, so that we can ensure your needs are met.

Q: What do I do if my hearing aid breaks, or I need hearing aid batteries while I am an inpatient?

A: If your hearing aids break, the ward will contact the Audiology Department, who will fix your hearing aid for you.

Batteries for hearing aids can be found in the Pharmacy at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, Rehabitat Shop at the Princess Royal Hospital and in the Audiology Departments of both hospitals.

Q: Should I tell hospital staff how to help me with my disability?

A: Specialist staff (such as the Dementia Support Team) and the Patient Experience Team make every effort to increase awareness of the individual needs of patients. But, in order to provide personalised care which is specific to the needs of each individual, hospital staff rely on open and honest communication with patients and carers.

Don’t be afraid to tell hospital staff how you want to be communicated with, and what equipment you require to assist you during your stay. We want to make your stay at hospital as easy for you as possible.

Q: What method of interpretation is used?

A: Interpreting can be supported by telephone interpreting, video call interpreting and face to face interpreting. The method may depend on the urgency of the request and the sensitivity of information which is being discussed. Please see our communication page for more information.

Q: How long will it take for me to receive the written translation I have asked for?

A: It will depend on the size of the document you have requested. We will endeavour to organise this for you as quickly as possible.

We are proud to be…

LGBT+ Champions

NHS rainbow badge

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust is committed to providing an environment that is open, accepting and inclusive for our LGBT+ patients, carers, staff and volunteers.

The Rainbow Badge initiative is a way for NHS staff to demonstrate that they are aware of the issues that LGBT+ people can face when accessing healthcare. It is intended to be a simple visual symbol which identifies its wearer as someone who an LGBT+ person can feel comfortable talking to about issues relating to sexual orientation or gender identity. It shows that the wearer is there to listen without judgement and signpost to further support if needed.

We currently have over 900 LGBT+ Champions. Please click here to view our LGBT+ Champion Newsletter. For further information, see our NHS Rainbow Badges page.

Veteran Aware

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust is working hard to improve the care we deliver to veterans, members of the armed forces, reservists and their families.

We have committed to the following pledges:

  • Make information available to veterans and their families explaining what to expect,
  • Train staff to be aware of veterans’ needs and the commitments of the NHS under the Armed Forces Covenant,
  • Inform staff if a veteran or their GP has told the hospital they have served in the armed forces,
  • Ensure that members of the armed f community do not face disadvantage compared to other citizens when accessing our services, and
  • Signpost to extra services that might be provided to the armed forces community by a charity or service organisation in the trust.

We currently have over 30 Veterans Aware Champions, many of whom are either veterans themselves or have been closely associated with the military for other reasons.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Community Advocates Group

For some people in the UK, there are still unfair and avoidable inequalities in their health and in their access to and experiences of NHS services. SaTH wants to address these inequalities to meet, and exceed, our patients’ cultural and specific health concerns and achieve a high standard of patient care and patient experience.

We do this by working collaboratively with members of the local community who support and challenge SaTH in identifying existing health inequalities and develop action plans to tackle and eliminate such issues.

Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Community Advocates Group have representation from:

  • SAND
  • Bethphage
  • Telford LGBTQ+
  • Shropshire Deaf and Hard of Hearing Forum
  • Shropshire Disability Network
  • STW Maternity Voice Partnership

Equality and Diversity stakeholder Events

Equality and diversity event

The Trust is committed to ensuring the needs and priorities of the local community are clearly identified and addressed when developing Trust policies and services. The annual Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Stakeholder event provides an opportunity for patients, carers, stakeholders, voluntary organisations and staff to tell the Trust what they need; what we are doing well; and, what we can improve upon.

Organised by the Patient Experience Team and supported by the Community Engagement Facilitator and Head of Education, the event aims to shape services and ensure that we are working to meet the needs of patients and families with all protected characteristics.

Whilst not considered outright protected characteristics, under the Equality Act 2010, the Trust also seeks to consider the needs of the following ‘Inclusion Health’ groups when shaping policy, delivering services, and in relation to their employees:

  • People who are carers
  • People who are homeless
  • People who live in poverty
  • People who are long-term unemployed
  • People in stigmatised occupations (e.g. prostitution)
  • People who misuse drugs
  • People with limited family or social networks
  • People who are geographically isolated

There were over 100 attendees at the most recent event; this included a wide range of patients, carers, members of the community, local voluntary organisations and community groups; as well as Trust staff, local Commissioners, Healthwatch, Health and Social Care partners. Attendance from a wide and diverse range of the local community was sought to ensure that marginalised and seldom-heard groups were included and represented.

Staff from across the Trust presented information about services, including: PALS, Frailty, Ophthalmology, End of Life Care, Corporate, Theatres, Fertility and AAA Screening. Each presentation was followed by group discussions on what the service is doing well and what improvements could be made to further meet people’s needs. Facilitators at each table captured the discussion, ensuring that everybody had an opportunity to have their voice heard.

At the end of the discussion, attendees are asked to decide, as a group, the grade at which the service is performing, based on the evidence presented and any additional information provided by the ward or department. The ratings range from: underdeveloped; developing; achieving; and, excelling.

This was to obtain feedback from the community on our services and to build established objectives for service delivery which our stakeholders identify as being important to them in accessing healthcare. Involving patients in shaping improvements is recognised as an important element in the design and delivery of our services.

The feedback obtained has been shared with the wards and departments who presented; at the Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Sub-Committee and patient group and will support development of an improvement plan for 2020 – 2021.

To see how staff used patient feedback from the 2018 Stakeholder event, watch the video below:

To see what the attendees of our most recent event thought, watch the video below: