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Patient Equality and Inclusion

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Patient equality and inclusion means making sure the way we plan and run our services are fair for everyone, so that anyone can use them when they need to.

  • This means making changes and providing extra support for people with disabilities.
  • It means providing help for people who don’t speak English as their main language.
  • It means developing action plans to make improvements in our services.
  • And it means designing our services in a certain way to help particular groups of people.

Ukrainian Hate Crime Leaflet

Cheshire Police have produced a hate crime reporting leaflet in Ukrainian for all organisations, public and private, to use when Ukrainian individuals and families access their services.

The leaflet is intended to encourage reporting of hate crime by the Ukrainian people living in Cheshire either as settled citizens or escaping the war in Ukraine at this time.

Hate Crime Leaflet – UKRANIAN

Armed Forces Community Afghanistan – Op COURAGE

The first call for help takes courage. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health or wellbeing problems, expert help is available from Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service.

If you’re due to leave the Armed Forces, have just left the Armed Forces or left many years ago, Op COURAGE is here to help. You will be able to speak to people who:

  • understand the Armed Forces and military life
  • are either from the Armed Forces community or highly experienced in working with serving personnel, reservists, veterans and their families
  • will work with you to make sure you get the right type of specialist care, support, and treatment.

The service can be contacted directly by yourself or you can ask your GP, a charity or someone else, such as a family member or friend, to do this on your behalf.

What will happen when you contact Op COURAGE

To make sure you get the right care and support, you will first have an assessment by someone who understands the specific needs of the Armed Forces community. The service offers a range of treatment, which includes:

  • working with Defence Medical Services to make sure you get mental health care and support as you transition from the military to civilian life
  • recognising the early signs of mental health problems and providing care and treatment for this
  • therapeutic treatment for more advanced mental health conditions and psychological trauma
  • intensive emergency care and treatment if you’re in a crisis
  • helping you to access other NHS services if needed, such as ‘Improving access to psychological therapies’ (IAPT) and eating disorder services
  • working with charities and local organisations to support you with your wider health and wellbeing needs, such as housing, relationships, finances, employment, drug and alcohol misuse and social support.

For more information, visit the NHS website at www.nhs.uk/opcourage

For information on local Op COURAGE services have a look at the resources below:

Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service is the new name for the Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS), Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS) and Veterans’ Mental Health High Intensity Service (HIS). The new name has been developed following feedback from veterans and their families to make it easier for those leaving the military and veterans to find help.

Covid 19

Covid 19 has shown the underlying inequalities that exist for many in our communities. One of the contributors to inequality is the failure to make information accessible to different groups, and accessible information that gives people the knowledge to protect themselves and their loved ones is so important at this time.

A number of organisations are working to produce important Covid 19 information and advice in other languages and formats, you will find links to some of these below:

Learning Disabilities and Autism

  • Public Health England have produced an Easy Read leaflet for the Covid vaccine for people with learning disabilities – PHE_11843_Covid-19_Easy-read_leaflet
  • C0381_NHS Covid-19 Grab and Go LDA Form – NHS Grab and Go Form, primarily aimed at people with learning disabilities or autism, but of potential benefit to anyone who may find communication difficult if admitted to hospital at this time
  • Bridgewater Health Passport – The Grab and Go Form should be used for people with learning disabilities in conjunction with their Health Passport
  • Learning Disabilities Support Factsheet – Bridgewater factsheet for people with learning disabilities and their families, including Easy Read resources, links to official guidance from Government and Public Health England, links to national charities and other organisations providing support to people with learning disabilities including activities during the pandemic, and information on support for carers

What patient inclusion means to Bridgewater

Patient inclusion is fundamentally important for Bridgewater. This is reflected in our mission and values – improving health and wellbeing in the communities we serve, through patient centred and locally led services.

Within our diverse communities there are groups with particular needs that must be met to allow them to access services and be fully and effectively involved in all aspects of their health and care. Needs could be physical, communication and language, or awareness and understanding. These may be as a result for example of disability, culture, religion, or sexual orientation, or may be particular needs arising from their role as carers or employees.

Communication and language support in services

Good communication is very important for ensuring effective and safe interactions between staff and patients. For people with disabilities affecting communication, or where English is not a person’s first language, this means providing language interpretation and translation, other communication support, and alternative information formats to patients, and, where appropriate, their family members or carers.

The support that can be provided is diverse and includes community languages such as Polish, British Sign Language, Arabic or Urdu; communication support such as speech to text reporters, or Makaton; or alternative information formats such as audio files, easy read, and Braille.

The whole of the NHS, including Bridgewater, is working hard to ensure it meets the legal requirements related to language and communication needs. We are working hard to identify and record these needs for our patients, but we know we are not there yet. You can help us by telling us about any language and communication needs you, or your family member, or the person you provide care for has, asking the service you are using to record this in the patient notes.

Browsealoud – communication and language support on our webpages

We want everyone who visits the Bridgewater website to feel welcome and be able to find the information they need. To help with this the website uses Browsealoud, a free tool for patients to use to read, listen to, or translate the information given on the website.

To use Browsealoud, click on the orange headphone picture in the top right-hand side of the page. This will open the Browsealoud toolbar.

Detailed instructions can be found in the Browsealoud leaflet:

Communication and language support for corporate information

If you need any information from the Trust in another language or format please either contact the service you are using if you query is related to service specific information, or the Patient Services Team for general Trust information:

Telephone Number: 0800 587 0562

TextRelay: 18001 0800 587 0562

Email: bchft.patientservices@nhs.net

Webform: https://www.bridgewater.nhs.uk/aboutus/patientservices/

Navajo – supporting our LGBTIQ community

The Trust recognises that for some members of the LGBTIQ community exclusion, lack of awareness and understanding in public services, stereotyping, and homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, has led to inequality and a higher incidence of certain health issues.

Bridgewater is committed to working with our LGBTIQ communities and staff to address issues that lead to exclusion and inequality.

In May 2018 Trust representatives were presented with the Navajo Merseyside and Cheshire Charter Mark at the annual awards ceremony that recognises organisations that demonstrate commitment to improvement and good practice in relation to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBTIQ) patients, communities and staff.

Patient equality and inclusion reports

We produce two reports annually that relate to patient equality and inclusion. The Public Sector Equality Duty Annual Report and EDS2 can be viewed on the Trust webpage.