Under the Equality Act 2010, organisations have a legal duty to make changes in their approach or provision to ensure that services are as accessible to people with disabilities as they are for everybody else. These changes are called reasonable adjustments.
Reasonable adjustments can mean alterations to buildings by providing lifts, wide doors, ramps and tactile signage, but may also mean changes to policies, procedures and staff training to ensure that services work equally well for people with physical or sensory disabilities, learning disabilities or long-term conditions such as dementia.
Other adjustments include longer appointments, providing easy read materials or communications via a carer. This legal duty is anticipatory which means a service should know about a patient’s need for adjustments when the patient is referred or presents for care. For this to happen, adjustments need to be recorded and shared across the NHS.