Direct Access, the UK’s leading Disability Access consultancy opened its new offices this week in the heart of Nantwich in response to growing demands from healthcare establishments to ensure access for people with disabilities.
Established eleven years ago by profoundly deaf Steven Mifsud, Direct Access audits existing healthcare buildings and provides consultancy services for new builds to ensure compliance with the UK’s Equality Act 2010. These standards ensure that buildings and services are made accessible for people with disabilities.
“It is an exciting time for us,” says Steven. “Our new offices enable us to increase the level of dedicated administrative support needed to meet the auditing requirements of healthcare premises from GP and dental surgeries to large hospitals.”
“NHS and healthcare facilities managers play a significant role in ensuring their hospitals and equipment are accessible for people with disabilities. They can address any shortcomings during hospital construction and renovation projects to the benefit of service users. Yet all too often while facilities are designed correctly contractors still construct to the standards they have used previously and with several different standards to comply with, often overlook a critical element in access for disabled people. Examples include toilets too far from the wall, grab bars located in less functional places and braille signs located above door frames. Many facilities managers are turning to Direct Access for the expertise to identify and rectify issues.”
In the past eleven years Direct Access has audited hundreds of GP surgeries, dental practices, sexual health clinics and recently completed audits of NHS sites in Kilburn, Hammersmith and Blackpool. As a result of Direct Access’ work, disabled people are able to access services and be involved in their local communities.