Accessibility checklist for GP surgeries

Help make sure that your practice meets people’s accessibility requirements using this checklist from Healthwatch Slough.
patients talking in waiting room

Imagine that you were going through the same journey as your patients - what would help to make sure that your care needs are being met?

Developed by Healthwatch Slough, this checklist will help you make sure that your practice is accessible.

While budget and space are often issues when making large scale changes, there are some steps that surgeries can take to improve the experience patients have.

Although this checklist does not cover every aspect of accessibility good practice, it does provide a starting point for discussion and for planning to make improvements.

I couldn’t enter the consulting room to speak to my GP as I couldn’t get my wheelchair through the door so I had to have my consultation with the GP with me sitting outside in the corridor.
— A patient story from Slough

Things to consider

Outside space

  • Is there disabled parking?
  • Is there enough space for a disabled person to exit a car safely?
  • Is the path to the surgery accessible to people with limited mobility or sensory impairment?
  • Are handrails placed on both sides of slopes leading to an entrance door?
  • Is the route from the entrance into the surgery free of obstacles?
  • What size is the entrance, is it suitable for wheelchair access?

Toilets

  • Are any signs for disabled toilets at eye level?
  • Is there enough leg space under the sink?
  • Are sink taps levers?
  • Is there a caution sign for very hot water?
  • Are paper and soap dispensers, as well as hand dryers at a suitable height?
  • What size is the entrance, is it suitable for wheelchair access?
  • Do you have a procedure to follow when someone falls?

Seating, signs and fire exits

  • Is seating available in a choice of heights?
  • Are the fire exits accessible by wheelchair?
  • Is there LED signage/clear microphone for signalling patients?

Communication

  • Is there a hearing loop?
  • Is information available in different formats, such as large print or braille?
  • Is the counter height accessible to wheelchairs?
  • Is there a quiet space and buzzer system for people who may experience sensory overload?
  • Do you publicise to patients that a quiet space can be given upon request?

Download the full checklist

Do you work in a GP surgery? Take a moment to assess your GP practice for accessibility.

Healthwatch Slough accessibility checklist

Implementing the guidance

The accessibility checklist above offers broad guidance on how you can make sure that your practice is accessible. If you are a service provider in Milton Keynes and you would like more advice and guidance around implementing the accessibility checklist please contact PDSICG (The Physical Disability and Sensory Impairment Consultation Group). The group is made up of experts by experience, who will be able to offer more detailed guidance.

To contact PDSICG, please contact the Centre for Integrated Living:

  • Call 01908 231344 and ask to leave a message re GP Surgery Accessibility for passing to PDSICG
  • Email info@mkcil.org.uk with ‘GP Surgery Accessibility’ as the subject

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