Updated 4 October 2023
This accessibility statement applies to content published on www.somersetft.nhs.uk
This website is run by Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and we want as many people as possible to be able to effectively use this website. This means, for example, you should be able to:
- Change colours, contrast levels and fonts, using the Recite Me tool which can be enabled on the top right hand side of every page
- Zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
- Navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
- Listen to most of the website using a screen reader or using the Recite me tool on the website or the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver
- Being able to change the language, which can be achieved using the Recite Me tool
We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand, using plain English guidance throughout.
We use an accessibility tool called Recite Me which can be enabled at the top right hand corner of any page or enable the recite me tool here. The tool on this website that can read aloud all pages and documents, translates text and offers simple reading modes and font selection and magnification.
AbilityNet also provides advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.
We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand using plaine English principles.
How accessible this website is
Our website is partially compliant with the accessible Information Standard, and we are committed to taking this further and are looking at areas to improve our website experience.
We know some elements of this website are not fully accessible with older PDF documents not fully accessible for screen reader software. More recent PDF documents have increased accessibility but some data included is not shared in an accessible way and we are working to improve this in the future. These PDFs are those in the corporate pages of the website.
Feedback and contact information
If you need information on this website in a different format, such as an accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille, please email Communications@Somersetft.nhs.uk and we will respond within 14 days.
If you cannot view the map please use the email above and we will be in touch to provide directions.
Reporting accessibility problems with this website
We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page, think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, or have a suggestion for areas that could offer improved accessibility, please email Communications@Somersetft.nhs.uk
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’).
If you contact us with a complaint and you are not happy with our response, you can contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).
Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person
We provide a text relay service for people who are deaf, hearing impaired or have a speech impediment.
Our offices have audio induction loops and the trust can provide interpretation and translation services for patients who do not speak English, have a communication need, or who use British Sign Language (BSL). Please let your GP referring you to our services, or the department providing your care, know you have communication needs and this will be added to your patient records for all future appointments and correspondence.
You can also contact us using the number on your appointment letter or email before your visit.
We work with Word360 who provide interpreters and translators for our patients.
We can also help with communication needs by providing whiteboards, written communications or other means of communicating that are helpful to you.
We can provide:
- interpreters for appointments
- translation of key documents
- 3-way telephone interpreting calls
- video interpreting
- key document translation
More information and how to contact the service can be found on our interpretation and translation services page.
If we are not meeting your accessibility needs, please contact our patient advice and liaison service firstname.lastname@example.org or call:
- 01823 343536 for Musgrove Park Hospital, community hospitals and services, mental health services and LD
- 01935 384706 for Yeovil Hospital
Technical information about this website’s accessibility
Somerset NHS Foundation Trust is committed to making its websites accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.
This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.
The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.
Some PDF documents may not be tagged, contain alt-text, or have the language set, and are not all available as HTML pages. These include tables and data provided in a format that is not accessible.
Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations
Inaccessible PDFs that read out on screen readers. These fail WCAG 2.1 success criterion WCAG 3.1.1 Language of Page, WCAG 1.3.1 Info and Relationships and WCAG 1.1.1 Non-text content.
Our site includes 3rd party content and functionality. Depending on our relationship with the 3rd party, we cannot always guarantee its accessibility. This relates to the Ask Alex function.
We have assessed the cost of fixing the issues with accessing information and it would be a disproportionate burden to change all PDF documents added to the site since September 2018 to HTML pages or tag them. This will not be a disproportionate burden forever with PDF documents replaced following the roll out of training across the trust and a suite of templates provided.
All PDFs from 2018 onwards relating to patient care have retrospectively been made accessible, changed to HTML, or removed from the website.
This relates to corporate and regulatory reports, including board papers, post 2018 are currently presented in PDF format with tables designed to be useful for executive and non executive members of the board, but these do not currently meet the accessibility requirements. To redesign these documents will involve working groups to ensure they meet the needs of those using them, training rolled out across our large trust, and templates being created. It is essential these documents are usable for those accessing them for their work as well as accessible for those with communication needs and ensuring we get this right for everyone will take time. Our assessment concluded:
- each document would require a number of hours of work to be recreated in a fully accessible version – estimated based on extensive experience of converting the active documents at between 2 and 30 hours per document, depending on length and complexity, plus any required sign-off.
- many of the documents are officially published following agreement at board meetings or by NHS bodies and publishing a new version requires detailed checking, a formal sign-off process, and submitting a new official version to the relevant parties.
- many of the documents contain complex elements which are difficult to retrospectively convert, such as detailed tables, graphs, and diagrams. Often these are provided by third parties or an information team so we do not have the original data. Gathering these original files would be time in addition to that stated above.
Requests for individual documents of this type in an accessible format of this level have never been received by our trust. Large print and hard copies have previously been provided on request to members of the public, and these remail available.
With the limited resources we have available, including one digital officer responsible for the website and trust’s three intranets, weighed against the demand for these older documents, we are prioritising ensuring future papers are accessible. Therefore, we acknowledge older PDFs do not meet the requirements.
Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish from 1 October 2024 will meet accessibility standards. This includes those on the corporate pages of the website.
- Annual report
- Public board papers
- Public reports for safeguarding etc
Requests for specific documents to be made accessible will be considered and we will work with the requester to meet their needs on a case by case basis while the improvement work is underway.
What we’re doing to improve accessibility
We are taking steps to regularly review new website content and developing training that will be rolled out across the trust, as well as ensuring future developments in our trust, i.e. a new intranet, are compliant from the start.
We have produced a roadmap that sets out actions and timeframes to significantly improvements to the accessibility of the website over the next 12 months.
Our key priorities will be:
- to provide training for all web editors and colleagues who create public documents – this will follow the SCULPT principles championed by Worcestershire Council SCULPT for Accessibility | Worcestershire County Council.
- to create templates for corporate documents and patient information leaflets that are accessible.
- to regularly review the website for content and the user journey including actively listening to feedback from our users, seeking a diverse range of voices via our links with the voluntary sector.
- to include our learning in the planning for the new trust intranet and how we communicate with colleagues.
- Use analytics to support this work.
Preparation of this accessibility statement
This statement was prepared on Friday 29 September 2023 and it was last reviewed on Tuesday 4 October 2023.
This website was last tested on 6 September 2023. The test was carried out by the Government Digital Service (part of the Cabinet Office). Following the report, we updated the highlighted areas and undertook extensive testing using the following tools:
- https://www.deque.com/axe/ was also used to check the homepages
- Manual checks were also undertaken
Going forward, checks will be completed using Monsido and SEMrush as well as manually as pages are updated and we will seek feedback from a diverse range of users.