Healthwatch Manchester conducted a review of over 80 GP practice websites and found that the overwhelming majority did not meet the requirements set out in the NHS Accessible Information Standard.
Out of all the websites reviewed, only 1 had any EasyRead versions of text directly available on the website, with the others requiring patients to submit a request and wait anywhere from 5 to 28 working days for a reply. None of the websites also provided any British Sign Language translations of text.
The NHS has been increasing the level of digital involvement in services for a number of years and the COVID-19 pandemic has quickened the pace of change, moving services and functions online due to the restrictions on face-to-face meetings.
Whilst this has proved beneficial for some, many vulnerable residents have found it difficult to adapt to the new changes, especially when they are expected to use websites to access healthcare services which do not have the required functions or support to allow them to do so.
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