This statement applies to content published on the www.wwl.nhs.uk website.
This website is designed to be used by as many people as possible. The text should be clear and simple to understand. You should be able to:
- zoom in up to 400% without problems
- navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
- listen to most of the website using a screen reader
The feature to be able to change colours, contrast levels and fonts, if your chosen web browser supports this, has temporarily been disabled whilst work is completed to ensure this meets accessibility requirements.
The AbilityNet website has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.
How accessible this website is
We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible. For example:
- some pages and document attachments are not written in plain English
- some tables do not have row headings
- some documents have poor colour contrast
- some heading elements are not consistent
- some images do not have image descriptions
- some buttons are not correctly identified
- some error messages are not clearly associated with form controls
- many documents are in PDF format and are not accessible
- site accordions (drop downs) are not fully accessible to screen readers
Feedback and Contact Information - Reporting accessibility problems with this website
We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, please contact the Trust's Communications Department by email to email@example.com.
Patients with Mobility Needs
All hospital and out-patient clinic reception entrances are suitable for wheelchairs. There are disabled toilets in key locations around the hospital and out-patient clinics.
Motorised scooters are allowed within the hospital / out-patient clinics.
Disabled parking is available on all hospital sites.
Mobility aids are available within the hospital. This includes bariatric beds, wheelchairs, manual hoists, hoist slings, tri wheel walkers, walking sticks, walking frames, crutches and commodes which are all available on request. There is no charge for mobility aids.
On-line Disabled Information Guide:
Please visit the AccessAble website, for a more detailed summary about what disabled access and facilities we provide:
Patients with Hearing Impairments
British Sign Language Interpreters
The Trust provides Sign Language Interpreters and Lip Readers for the hearing impaired.
Hearing Loops are available on all main reception desks in key locations around the hospitals and out-patient clinics.
Appointment Reminder Text Messaging Service
A Text Messaging Service was implemented in November 2011 to remind patients about their forthcoming appointments and subsequently reduce the number of appointments not attended.
Cancelling or Re-scheduling Hospital Appointments On-line
Patients are able to cancel or reschedule their appointments via the Trust’s website. This facility enables patients to notify the Trust if they are unable to attend an appointment for any reason.
Improving Access – On-line Appointments Booking Service
We understand that some of our patients may have difficulty in contacting us by telephone to arrange an appointment. If you are hearing impaired or speech impaired or unable to use a telephone, you can now arrange your appointment on-line via the link below:
Patients with Visual Impairments
Assistance dogs may accompany you during your visit, but please give the hospital staff as much notice as possible so they can accommodate this.
Staff are usually asked to accommodate a side room or visiting area for patients that require an assistance dog or people visiting with an assistance dog.
Patient Information Leaflets / Correspondence in Alternative Formats
Alternative formats are available on request. If you wish to request an audio leaflet, braille, high contrast (black text against yellow background), or require the leaflet in a different language then please contact the department/ward you are attending.
Tell us about your needs/special requirements
Please telephone the number on your appointment letter / notify our hospital staff if you have any special needs or mobility problems. We may need to make special arrangements to ensure your visit is as straightforward as possible.
- Are you disabled / have mobility problems?
- Are you hearing / visually impaired?
- Use special equipment?
- Need written information in large print or audio?
The more you can tell us about your individual needs the more we can put in place to ensure those needs are met.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you’re not happy with how we respond to a complaint about our website's accessibility, please contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).
Technical information about this website’s accessibility
Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the Regulations).
This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.
The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons:
- Annual report
- Auditor's reports
Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations
PDF documents and other downloadable files
Many documents are not accessible in a number of ways including missing text alternatives and missing document structure.
Downloadable documents, including but not limited to PDF documents and Word files, are sometimes published on our websites for one or all of the following reasons or purposes:
- To meet governance requirements or legislation for official or internal use, often when printed. This may include controlled documents and other corporate documents, for example
- Specifically to be printed, rather than for use on the web, but published online as helpful content or to meet certain regulatory requirements. This may include newsletters and annual reports, for example
- For use by a specific audience where web accessibility is not a requirement due to the intended use of the file. This may include referral forms for GP practices to print themselves, for example
- For use in the management of patients or provision of services, where the author may not have the technical or design skills required to make the document accessible but the information of resources may be urgently required, for example during the COVID-19 pandemic
The documents many be non-accessible in any or all of the following ways:
- Downloadable documents are not adaptable by the user to suit their needs. This fails WCAG 2.1 guideline 1.3 (adaptable)
- The formatting of these documents may make them difficult to use for users of assistive technology such as screen reader software, and for people using their keyboard to navigate the website. This fails WCAG 2.1 guideline 2.4 (navigable)
- Where documents have been designed specifically for print, the colours used do not always meet colour contrast requirements for web accessibility. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.3 (contrast (minimum))
- These documents may sometimes include scanned images of text, which may be inaccessible to assistive technologies, such as screen reader software. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.5 (images of text)
- A default language may not be set in the document properties. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 3.1.1 (language of page)
- To view these documents when zoomed to 400% or larger, users will often need to scroll both horizontally and vertically to view all content. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.10 (reflow)
Where downloadable documents are made available in these formats and are not compliant, it is usually out of necessity, for the reasons stated. We will review further PDF documents before publication to this website and will publish content in accessible formats where possible. We plan to reduce the amount of PDF documents as far as possible, and to make all remaining PDF documents accessible by 31 July 2025.
Embedded videos do not yet all have text alternatives, audio descriptions or captions as required to be accessible to all users. This fails WCAG 2.1 guideline 1.2 (time-based media). We plan to add the required alternatives for time-based media by 31 July 2024.
- Where an input error is automatically detected in an online form, the error may not be described to the user in text. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 3.3.1 (error identification)
- If an input error is automatically detected suggestions for correction may not be presented to the user in text. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 3.3.3 (error suggestion)
We plan to add indications and suggestions in text for all form errors by 31 July 2024.
For security purposes, our online forms use Google reCAPTCHA v2, which is a version of a "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart" (CAPTCHA).
CAPTCHAs are an important security tool used to prevent automated submission of form data by malicious software (know as bots or spiders). According to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the organisation which develops international standards for the web, reCAPTCHA v2 may not be accessible to users of all technologies in all instances. For example:
- "it has been widely observed that utilizing keyboard navigation, as many assistive technology users do, no longer works. Instead, users are presented with a traditional inaccessible CAPTCHA as a fall-back mechanism." This would fail:
- WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content)
- WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.1.1 (keyboard)
- "audio CAPTCHAs previously available with v2 implementations are now sometimes no longer being provided. Instead users see a message that reads: 'Your computer or network may be sending automated queries. To protect our users, we can't process your request right now.'" This would fail WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content)
However, testing indicates that these technologies do often work with reCAPTCHA v2.
For full details of accessibility of CAPTCHAs, please see the W3C article "Inaccessibility of CAPTCHA". Section 3.2 covers Google reCAPTCHA.
- W3C: Inaccessibility of CAPTCHA(opens in new tab)
- Google reCAPTCHA demo page(opens in new tab)
- Google reCAPTCHA: accessibility(opens in new tab)
We will review the guidance on reCAPTCHA at least once a year, and implement any changes required to make the implementation of CAPTCHAs on our website more accessible.
Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations
Older video content
While we aim to make all of our content compliant where possible, we may not add captions to all pre-recorded video published before 23 September 2020, as this is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.
Online maps - those embedded from digital mapping services such as Google Maps, and maps made available in formats such as PDF - are exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations. However, we will always attempt to provide as much related information as possible in text, e.g. postcodes and directions.
Care Quality Commission (CQC) ratings widget
As an NHS provider we are legally required to display our CQC rating on our website. This is done via a widget provided by the CQC, and we do not have any control over the appearance or functionality of this widget. This widget is exempt, as set out in The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018, PART 1, point 4 (2) (e), which states an an exemption: "third-party content that is neither funded nor developed by, nor under the control of, the public sector body".
Other Third Party Widgets
The Trust uses a number of third party widgets and we have no control over their accessibility. This includes the Traveline and TRAC jobs widgets.
We believe that fixing the accessibility problems with some content would be disproportionate because the time and cost to review historical content. We have made a commitment to ensure content including PDFs from 1st October 2023, is as accessible as possible.
Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations
Non-HTML documents published before September 2018 do not need to be accessible - unless users need them to use a service.
What we’re doing to improve accessibility
Following the audit conducted by the DAC in March 2023, departments are urgently fixing content which fails to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard. Our website provider Cube Creative used Axe Tool to review accessibility of the site and Google Console.
Preparation of this accessibility statement
This statement was prepared on 18th July 2023 and will be reviewed by 18th July 2024.