Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has recently reopened its Radiology Unit at the University Hospital of Wales which has been redesigned in line with the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) Visibly Better Cymru Scheme.
Cardiff and Vale UHB are the only Health Board in Wales to have used the Visibly Better Cymru design principles while undergoing a redesign of a service area.
Visibly Better Cymru supports organisations to develop and maintain accessible environments so that many more people can feel more confident in getting in and around the places they visit, work or live. Having accessible environments means that people with sensory loss such as sight loss, can also benefit from inclusive design as well as people with physical disabilities.
The design principles of Visibly Better supports the Health Board to meet best practice and legislative obligations such as The Equality Act 2010 and BS8300.
The Visibly Better design principles include fundamental considerations to help prevent falls and promote an individual’s confidence by establishing appropriate lighting level requirements. Lighting has to then be complimented by colour and tonal contrast of surfaces, fixtures and fittings to aid identification, task work and way finding.
Matt Temby, Director of Operations for the Clinical Diagnostics and Therapeutics Clinical Board said: “The Radiology Unit at the University Hospital of Wales is the first one of its kind in Wales to have undergone a complete transformation in line with the Visibly Better Cymru Scheme.
“The redesign was aimed at putting patients and visitors at the heart of the service and making the environment better for those with sight loss.
“We hope that the changes we have made will help improve the service for patients and visitors alike.”
Ceri Jackson, Director of RNIB Cymru said: “The University Hospital of Wales is the first hospital to be recognised for adopting these inclusive Visibly Better Cymru design principles, and it is highly encouraging to see that the application of inclusive design has gone beyond the Radiology clinic and has been applied in many of the other wards throughout the hospital.
“The design principles are embedded into the standard practice of the hard working technical staff at the hospital. With many other University Hospital of Wales buildings that are under the hospital's stewardship located in and around Cardiff such as GP surgeries and health clinics, it is exciting to see the health authority extending the holistic design principles so that many more of their patients are further supported when they visit the medical staff.
“The University Hospital of Wales are showing a ‘can and will do’ attitude and I congratulate them and thank them for the work they have done here, and they can only be commended for taking sight loss seriously and leading the way.”
Gareth Davies, RNIB Cymru Senior Manager for Health & Corporate Services added
"As a visually impaired person who has previously used the Radiology Department in UHW, the difference made by the Visually Better Cymru principles which have been applied to the refurbishment of the department are truly striking. The whole area is so much more accessible visually with bright lighting, a contrast in the colour scheme and the new much lower desk make the whole environment welcoming and safe for blind or partially sighted people.
"It can't be underestimated how scary it can be for blind and visually impaired patients trying to navigate their way through the hospital due to the number of people there, and the many corridors and often poor lighting. So to see what the future of wards and other units in UHW will look like really is something to be celebrated and should be held up in Wales as an example of good practice.
"It also demonstrate how a partnership approach between the NHS and the Third Sector, in this case RNIB Cymru, can make a massive difference to the patient journey and overall experience during their time in UHW. The futures bright, the futures Visibly Better Cymru!"
Steve Curry, Interim Chief Operating Officer for Cardiff and Vale UHB and Chair of the Sensory Loss Standards Group said: “The refurbishment of the Radiology Unit reaffirms our dedication to developing a Health Board that meets the needs of all our patients, including those patients who have sensory loss. We understand how important good accessibility and communication is to our patients, their carers and their families.
“I would particularly like thank staff in the Clinical Diagnostics and Therapeutics Clinical Board and staff in Capital, Estates and Facilities for their dedication to this project and to Sue Bailey and Matt Temby for leading this redesign.”
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