"Staff need training in dealing with blind people"

About: Good Hope Hospital

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Today I took my husband to Good Hope to have a chest Xray at the treatment centre. I was not able to park so had to drop him at the door and stay in the car while he went in alone. My husband is blind and was using a long cane but I was confident that if he asked at reception for help, someone would take him to Xray and help him. It's not just because it's a hospital, it's common humanity. He went in and up to reception and explained that he was blind and needed help to find Xray. " Go down to section F past the leaflets." was the reply. My husband walked away towards where he thought F might be using his white cane, then had to ask another member of staff. She told him to keep going without offering to help. Eventually he managed to find Xray but with no help from reception.The staff on reception need training in dealing with patients with disabilities.

At Xray his name was called so he got up carrying his cane but the staff member walked away and my husband struggled to follow. No one offered to help until he was about to leave when someone offered to show him the exit.

Perhaps all staff should be told that a white cane means visual impairment which means that pointing and walking away expecting the patient to follow are both useless and makes the patient feel disempowered. Not all disabilities are visible but a white stick is a big clue!

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Response from Good Hope Hospital

Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your feedback and comments on NHS Choices website, this website also feeds into the Patient Opinion website, www.patientopinion.org.uk which is viewed daily by the Trust and a response to your posting will be available here. If you are unable to view the response and would like to discuss further please do not hestitate to contact us (Patient Services on 0121 424 0808) alternatively on www.patientservices@heartofengland.nhs.uk Kind regards Patient Services Department

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