Disability and access needs

“I was at St Andrew's Northampton, and I am now in St Andrew's Birmingham. The care you get is second to none. It is good to have consistency across both hospitals."

A patient, St Andrew's Birmingham

We recognise that people who use our services may have disability and access needs.

For patients: We should know about what you need before you come to stay, and this will be added to your care plan. If there is anything else that we have not thought of, or didn’t know about, please tell your care coordinator.

For other people: If you can’t find out what you need to know here please ask and staff will be happy to help you.


Physical access to our sites

Our sites have been assessed to make sure they meet access requirements.


Blue badge disabled parking on our sites

Each car park has designated disabled parking spaces. You must display your blue badge when using these spaces. Please also display your parking permit if you have been given one. Please check with your social worker and clinical team whether you or your visitors need to reserve a disabled parking space in advance of a visit.


Using a wheelchair around St Andrew’s

All of our new buildings have ramps and lifts available for everybody to use. There are also lifts to help you get in and out of the shower and use the toilets etc. Around the sites there are dropped kerbs and double red lines to indicate where vehicles must keep access clear.

If you have any problems getting in and out of places or using the grounds at St Andrew’s please report this to your care coordinator.


Bringing your car to St Andrew's

We ask you not to bring your car to St Andrew’s, this is because we have very limited parking available. We can provide help with getting around if you need it and have our own cars and minibuses to take you on trips and visits. If you need to book a car or taxi you will need to talk to your staff team. Staff may be able to escort you to help you with community visits.


Access to towns close to our sites

Online guides such as DisabledGo can help you decide whether a particular shop, service or facility meets your access needs. There is a link to a sample guide below. You can find many more on the DisabledGo site, to help you plan visits to places near our sites in Birmingham, Essex, Northampton and Nottinghamshire. The DisabledGo site has links to other useful information on things like accessible accommodation and travel.


Getting information in ways you can understand it

We provide information to lots of people – including patients, carers, families and visitors and we do what we can to make sure that you can understand the information we give you. For example, we use 'easy read' (larger print with straightforward language and pictures), plain English, British Sign Language, Makaton and symbols (used by some people with learning disabilities and autism). Information about choice and medication should always be availalble in ways you can understand it.

We often work with patients to develop leaflets and many of our units have specialist speech and language therapists to help patients too. If you need help to read something, please ask staff.


Translator and interpreter services

We offer a specialist translation service, for more information on this please speak to your care coordinator. We also have British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters who work on a daily basis with our Deaf patients.


Help with diet and weight

Menu codes show which dishes served are healthy options, vegetarian and halal. A lot of our food is made fresh on site. Patients often get involved in choosing what they would like to have as menu choices.

Our dietitians work with patients on weight management and keeping healthy and we can provide special diets if needed, for people with swallowing problems, for instance.

Our physical healthcare team work with patients on individual fitness and physical activity plans and these always take account of personal disability needs.

Sometimes medication can cause side effects, such as constipation, which could affect your physical health. Please do not suffer in silence if you have concerns. Your team can help you to adjust your diet to minimise side effects and help you to be healthy.


Information about the Mental Health Act in other languages

The Mental Health Act administrators at our Northampton site keep copies of Department of Health information about the Act; these are available in a range of languages. They also have a collection of DVDs titled 'Mental Health – Your Rights'. These DVDs were produced by St Andrew’s, working with NHS trusts. We understand patients may have disability as well as foreign language needs, so the team work with staff to help tailor what they provide to make sure patients get information in ways they can understand it.