Patient and visitor information

Disabled Access Guides

Coming soon to the Newcastle Hospitals

Newcastle Hospitals the first North East health service to join forces with DisabledGo

A new partnership between DisabledGo and the Newcastle Hospitals heralds the North East's first new accessibility checker  in the NHS, allowing hospital visitors, patients and staff to find out more about the accessibility of the Trust’s buildings and services.

The new resource will be a great help to disabled people, their carers, friends and family. It will equally be of help to people who would just like to know more about things such as parking, walking distances and toilet facilities. The online access guide will be completely free to use and is being created by national disability organization, DisabledGo.

DisabledGo is a social enterprise; it works across the UK to tackle social isolation and inequality through better information provision. Set up in 2000 the organisation was founded by wheelchair user, Dr. Gregory Burke, in response to the frustrations he faced trying to access new places. Gregory found a complete lack of information about the areas he wanted to visit, and when he rang to ask for details the information he was given was often wrong or not detailed enough for him to feel confident.

DisabledGo’s website  aims to answer everyone’s questions about the accessibility of places they need to visit. It has been developed by the disabled people who use it, reflecting the needs of people with a wide range of impairments. Currently the website features over 125,000 venues, including many in Newcastle thanks to funding from Newcastle City Council. Crucially, each place featured on  has been personally visited and assessed by one of DisabledGo’s surveyors to ensure accurate, detailed information is collected.

DisabledGo’s surveying team will be assessing and producing information for the Trust’s Dental Hospital, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Great North Children’s Hospital, Freeman Hospital and community services across the city. The information is due to launch in September 2016.

By using the guide people can find out whether accessible parking bays are available, how far you would need to walk to get to an entrance, if a hearing loop is available at reception, what side the transfer space is in an accessible toilet, whether there are tactile lift buttons, if staff have received dementia training, if background music is played, if flashing fire alarms are available and if there are places to sit and rest.

Speaking about the project, Anna Borthwick, Executive Director at DisabledGo says: "“We are thrilled to be working with the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to produce comprehensive accessibility information to all of the Trust’s buildings and services.

"We know the information will make a big difference to disabled people, older people and carers who need to know more about the facilities on offer. The guide will help people plan their visit and give the detail needed to feel more confident if visiting for the first time.

"The Trust is the first in the North East to work with us and I really hope others will follow the Newcastle Hospitals's lead.”

Andy Pike, Head of Patient Experience at the Newcastle  Hospitals says: “The Trust's vision is ‘Putting patients at the heart of everything we do’ and I believe that our work with DisabledGo demonstrates our absolute commitment to this.

"We understand the challenges and anxiety that accessing unfamiliar environments can create for patients and visitors and hope that this initiative we go some way to offering peace of mind and reassurance to those visiting the Trust.”

For more information about the project, please contact Rachel Carter, Partnerships Manager at DisabledGo on 01438 842710 or email

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