This accessibility statement applies to www.southernhealth.nhs.uk.
This website is run by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website.
We have made our website as accessible and usable as possible. We've done this by adding an accessibility and language toolbar to our website as well as following the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) produced by the World Wide Web Consortium, W3C, the web's governing body.
You should be able to:
- change colours, contrast levels and fonts
- zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
- navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
- navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
- listen to most of the website using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)
We've also made the website text as simple as possible to understand.
AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.
Visually impaired users may have trouble reading PDF files with screen reader software. To overcome this, you can go to the Access Adobe website and use their online conversion tools for Adobe PDF Documents.
Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with information on. We plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages.
The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services. However, if there is a specific document that you would like to request in HTML format we will do our best to oblige where possible and practicable. Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will aim to meet accessibility standards.
Popular browsers are in general fully supported. If you are using an older browser, particularly older versions of Internet Explorer, we may not be able to give you a full visual experience.
If you find any problems not listed on this page (or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements) or if you would like to request information on this website in a different format (like an accessible PDF, a map for directions, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille), please contact the Trust’s Media and Communications Team who are responsible for this and we will aim to get back to you within a week.
You can contact them via:
email: firstname.lastname@example.org or
write to: Media and Communications Team, Southern Health, Sterne 1, Tatchbury Mount, Calmore, Southampton SO40 2RZ.
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’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS): https://www.equalityadvisoryservice.com.
Technical information about this website’s accessibility
Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust is committed to making its website 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 and exemptions listed below.
We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible.
The content listed below is non-accessible due to non-compliance with the accessibility regulations and/or exemptions/not within scope of the accessibility regulations.
Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations
Some of our videos do not have captions – if you require a transcript for any of our videos, please contact us. To turn captions on please click the button on the embedded video player – this is reachable using the tab key.
Many of the historic PDFs on our website are non-accessible as their titles at upload may have contained acronyms or other language that was not plain English, and many contain tables that cannot be read by assistive technologies like screen readers. (There are issues with WCAG 2.4.2 page titles, WCAG 3.1.1 language of page, WCAG 1.3.1 info and relationships: tables, and WCAG 1.1.1 non-text content).
Southern Health has an obligation to publish documents such as board papers, agendas and technical papers aimed at clinicians and other colleagues working across the health and care system. This includes many complex documents which often run to hundreds of pages in length. Board papers for example often run to about 350 pages in length and include scanned images and large reports that have been sourced from multiple departments and external organisations. They are also compiled and uploaded on a tight schedule only hours before they are legally required to be available to the public.
Following an accessibility audit of the website (autumn 2023), we determined that some of the existing board papers and other PDF documents do not meet accessibility standards. As part of this process we are now putting in place new guidelines for staff creating documents for the website to ensure they meet accessibility standards going forward (from January 2024).
However, we remain unable to comply with updating all historic versions of these documents. The cost to do this would run into thousands of pounds of staff time which our communications team could not manage whilst ensuring we meet our core duties of communicating with staff and the public. The historic versions of these documents also receive little to no traffic and downloads – for example, the agenda and papers for a Board Meeting in June 2022 got just 10 downloads in the last month, there were just 4 downloads in the last month for the September 2021 agenda and papers and the minutes from a Board meeting in July 2020 got just 3 downloads in the past month, the majority of which are likely to be our own staff.
The cost of converting these documents would be significant and is not financially justifiable. Instead, we advise all interested parties to contact email@example.com to talk through any information that might be required as an alternative.
Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations
The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services. However, any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will aim to meet accessibility standards.
What we’re doing to improve accessibility
Southern Health is set to merge with three other NHS trusts - Solent NHS Trust, and parts of Isle of Wight NHS Trust and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust - in April 2024 and, as part of this process, we will be looking to begin the process of fixing some of these outstanding issues as part of the work to pull together the four trusts into one NHS trust with one functioning website. This new website will have a new domain name – reflecting the name of the new organisation – and we will be factoring in improvements to our video captioning, new PDF documents and pages with maps as part of this project to deliver a new NHS website.
Many of the PDFs on our website do not meet the requirements to be considered fully accessible. The resource and financial cost of making our historic PDF documents and Board Papers compliant with all accessibility standards on the website would be a disproportionate burden on our organisation.
Southern Health is managing unprecedented service demands with budgets under continual pressure. The content for the website is created in-house within the communications team at the current time, with no dedicated web resource.
Southern Health does not currently benefit from any allocated budget or resource that supports website technical development, coding or any enhancement other than basic hosting and support services.
A regular 350 page Board Paper would cost approximately £5,705 to be adapted. The annual cost would be in excess of £50k. The annual budget for our entire website is £3,160.00. Under current financial constraints, payment to an external agency to make board papers accessible is not justifiable over other essential service requirements.
All of our users will benefit from us making our website and online information accessible, so focusing our limited resource on maintaining the most-used accessible content on our website and ensuring that new documents are accessible where they are required for essential services or used by people with disabilities is our priority in the interim period. That said, we will continue to work with teams to improve accessibility as we create our new Trust website when we merge with other local Trusts in the spring of 2024.
This statement was prepared on 1 July 2021. It was reviewed and updated on 6 November 2023 and once again on 27 November 2023 (when the issue regarding the dropdown menus from the navigation bar along the top of the webpage - ref: WCAG 1.4.13 - were fixed).
This website was last tested (and updated for improved accessibility) on 22 September 2023 and again on 24 November 2023. The tests were carried out by Frank Design Ltd (Adamson House, Towers Business Park, Wilmslow Road, Didsbury, Manchester M20 2YY), working with the Trust’s Media and Communications Team, on behalf of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.
This compliance tests followed contact from the website accessibility monitoring team at the Government Digital Service (part of the Cabinet Office) who tested our most viewed pages as part of their own audit, which was carried out to the WCAG 2.2 AA standard.