Cornwall: Home to warm weather, gorgeous scenery and now, accessible NHS websites! Cornwall: Home to warm weather, gorgeous scenery and now, accessible NHS websites!

Cornwall: Home to warm weather, gorgeous scenery and now, accessible NHS websites!

Posted on: by Alison Wilson

Accessing Royal Cornwall Hospitals’ website is, in many ways, a web-user’s dream. On the website’s homepage, visitors are given a clear set of menu options designed to help them navigate the site with ease. This includes everything from information on staying in hospital, visiting patients, finding a consultant, to finding a job. Of course, with Recite Me’s accessibility toolbar also implemented, navigating this website becomes all the more easy and user-friendly.

We spoke with Richard Pearson, Senior Web Designer and Graphic Designer at Royal Cornwall Hospitals to find out more about NHS Cornwall’s approach to web accessibility.

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust provides acute care and specialist health services across three main hospitals: Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, West Cornwall Hospital in Penzance, and St. Michael’s Hospital in Hayle. Currently, the hospitals serve around 430,000 patients, a figure which can often increase during busy times of the year, and employs 5,000 staff.

Richard explains that web accessibility is something that has been at the forefront of their web development work for years. He explains, “Over the years, we’ve used several content management systems for out intranets and internet sites, however, over the past five years we’ve learned to use Wordpress, PHP and other related services to develop our websites. Our approach is multi-disciplined and covers a wide range of areas including web, design, photographer, servers, and infographics.”

Richard adds that his team identified the need for web accessibility a few years ago. While researching new accessibility products, they discovered Recite Me and asked for a free trial after realizing it ticked all of their list of requirements. He adds, “Everyone was very impressed with it and, subsequently, we purchased and implemented it on multiple sites including Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust.”

As Cornwall is a popular tourist destination, along with having an elderly population who often retire there, the RCHT’s website demographics are often widely mixed. Richard explains, “The tourist industry dictates a large volume of our visitors and patients, so I would say people from middle aged to older is definitely the higher audience.”

Unsurprisingly, the elderly audience often have difficulties reading the website due to age-related vision impairments, meaning web accessibility within the healthcare field is all the more important to consider. Coincidentally, Richard tells us that the website’s features explaining hospital services and listing waiting times are two of their most popular web pages.

Richard credits the sales team for also adding to his positive experience of using Recite Me. The team has already seen the value that comprehensive yet easy to use software can provide to their organisation. Richard tells us, “Recite Me have been great to work with and have great prices. We’ve bought several licenses and referred other organizations. Any problems we’ve had have been very minor and dealt with very quickly. The implementation process has also been especially easy for us web-savvy people!”

As a Senior Web Designer, Richard is evidently highly knowledgeable when it comes to web development. Nevertheless, he still encourages all organisations to consider their own approaches to web accessibility. He adds, “In this day and age, you absolutely have to be offering these services to cater for everyone’s needs. We’ve been really impressed by Recite Me so far, so the advice I’d have to other organisations is to get Recite Me bought and installed straight away.”

To learn more about Royal Cornwall Hospitals, visit https://www.royalcornwall.nhs.uk/

To learn more about Recite Me, including how to book your free demo, visit http://www.reciteme.com/

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