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Trust launches New Patient Information Service

Newsdate: 29th March 2007

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust is delighted to launch a new patient information service on the Trust's internet site.  It is already recognised that Patient Information Leaflets are an integral part of the relationship between Health Professional and Patient, but what happens when that patient cannot see or comprehend what is written?   To combat this problem the Trust has taken forward the development of an Audio Library of Patient Information Leaflets, which could be used, not only by the blind and partially sighted but also by people who have literacy difficulties such as people whose, first language is not English and people who are unable to read for whatever reason.

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust are now in a position where, they are able to transcribe all of their Patient Information Leaflets into both an audio version and large print on a high contrast coloured background version. The Trust web site has been adapted accordingly  to include an Audio availability which can be streamed directly into the health service users home at the click of a button.

We now have an internet site that has:

  • Audio facilitation of all Patient Information Leaflets
  • Provision of Large print on coloured background (56% of Deaf Blind People would prefer according to the 2006 unpublished Deaf Blind UK Survey)

These additions complement all the standard patient information leaflets that are available as downloads from the site. Future plans include audio versions of all directions to the various individual hospitals within the Trust.

Chris Birchall, the Trust's Patient Information Co-ordinator says: “We think that this innovative way of patients accessing information works really well and we have taken steps to make sure we're on the right track. To ensure that the quality of the Audiotapes are of a high standard, it was essential to include the service users in the developmental stage and we liaised with a number of different groups to ensure that we got it right including our own lay readers and listeners as well as external organisations such as the "Talking News" (the audio newspapers),  the National Deafblind society as well as consultation with a representative of the Wigan and Leigh Scope organisation (now known as Embrace Wigan and Leigh) who actually suffers from a sight disability."

Chris continues: “This is a really exciting project and we are already getting lots of positive comments and feedback from our patients.  We plan for this project to grow and grow and I feel that Audio streaming via the Internet will expand to more areas of the Trust public facing website to increase it's accessibility to all potential site visitors. There are plans to develop a separate audio section of the site to act as a library. This will also include an introduction to the Trust board, Trust Board meetings, Trust News and Hospital Services in addition to the Patient Information leaflet section."

For more information visit the Patient Leaflets information section by clicking here.