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New guide to healthcare premises

PUBLISHED: 17:01 19 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:00 06 July 2010

PEOPLE with disabilities are set to be the first in the UK to benefit from a new county-wide guide to healthcare premises.

NHS Suffolk has ploughed £88,000 into the project, which involves gathering information about the disabled access of 500 premises across the county.

PEOPLE with disabilities are set to be the first in the UK to benefit from a new county-wide guide to healthcare premises.

NHS Suffolk has ploughed £88,000 into the project, which involves gathering information about the disabled access of 500 premises across the county.

This will then be available in an online guide for all those who use the facilities.

The guide will provide information disabled parking, toilets and ramps at various healthcare centres, such as doctors surgeries and dental practices. It is expected to be published by the spring.

The project, run by disability organisation DisabledGo, is the first one in the UK to be being carried out in partnership with a number of different organisations in the area, including Suffolk Mental Health Partnership Trust, Ipswich Hospital, West Suffolk Hospital and Suffolk Community Healthcare.

Carole Taylor-Brown, chief executive of NHS Suffolk, said: “Not knowing if your doctors' surgery or local optician is easy to get to or whether the doors are wide enough, even, is an extra barrier for people with disabilities to overcome.

“Knowing these simple details before you arrive for an appointment makes all the difference in how you access healthcare.”

Linda Hoggarth, chairman of Optua, a disability charity based in Claydon, said: “Our members have told us how difficult it can sometimes be to access local healthcare premises - such as dentists, opticians and GP surgeries.

“This survey is a major step forward in providing up-to-date, accurate and highly useful information.”

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