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County Durham & Darlington Support Services

We aim to ensure that our services are accessible to all patients. To help people access our services, we offer a range of help and assistance

  Interpreters and Translation Services

We aim to ensure that our services are accessible to all patients. To help access our services we offer a range of help and assistance.

We can provide interpreter services using telephone and face-to-face interpreters. When needed we can arrange for an interpreter, including sign language or lip speaking, to attend your outpatient consultation or inpatient stay.

  •         Outpatient appointment: for outpatient visits please contact the department you are visiting before your consultation. Please call the number on your appointment card or letter
  •         Inpatient stay: to discuss having an interpreter during your inpatient stay in hospital, please contact the ward you will be staying on before your admission date.  Please call the number on your admission notification letter.

Alternative Formatted Documents

Everyone has the right to receive information about their healthcare and treatment in a format they can easily understand

County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust has implemented the new Accessible Information Standard which aims to make sure that people who have a disability or sensory loss get information that they can access and understand, and any communication support that they need.

The trust aims to make sure that patients and service users, and their carers and parents, can access and understand the information they are given. This includes making sure that people get information in accessible formats.

As an organisation we aim to make sure that people get support from a communication professional if they need it, and about changing working practices to support effective communication.

  Our commitment is to:

  ·  Ask people if they have any information or communication needs, and find out how to meet their needs.

·      Record those needs clearly and in a set way.

·      Highlight or flag the person's file or notes so it is clear that they have information or communication needs and how to meet those needs.

·      Share information about people's information and communication needs with other providers of NHS and adult social care, when they have consent or permission to do so.

·      Take steps to ensure that people receive information which they can access and understand, and receive communication support if they need it.

  Learning Disability Support

We are committed to improving the care and health of people with Learning Disabilities and do this by making reasonable adjustments to our services so they meet the individual needs of patients

Our Learning Disability Lead Nurse

Our Learning Disability Lead Nurse, Dawn Cook, promotes access to hospital services for people with learning disabilities. We are committed to directly supporting people with a learning disability, their carers and other hospital staff.

We work with adults and children who have a learning disability who need additional support to access hospital services.

What we do

Our service can help with:

·         Co-ordination of care when patients attend, are admitted and discharged

·         Complete a full pathway assessment to meet your needs and evidence   any  reasonable adjustments required

·         Complete a Hospital passport which highlights things we must know about you, things that are important to you and your likes and dislikes

·         Promote positive experience and outcome

Support in employing people in County Durham & Darlington with learning disabilities

County Durham & Darlington are committed to supporting the employment of more people with learning disabilities into our organisation.

We have pledged that as an organisation we have an action plan focused on employing more people with learning disabilities by:

·         Being an accessible organisation

  ·         Identifying potential jobs

·         Accessible recruitment process

·         Increasing the number of people with learning disabilities employed.

  Support in employing people in County Durham and Darlington who have a disability

County Durham & Darlington is an employer who is committed to employing disabled people and has been awarded both of the following symbols:   

  • the 'disability confident' symbol
  • the 'positive about disabled people' symbol (with 2 ticks)

  Chaplaincy Service

Chaplains are available to offer spiritual, pastoral and religious support for the hospital community. We are here for patients, families and friends; and for staff. We will always be respectful of your beliefs, and we promise to be sensitive to your needs.

To find more about the service click here:


'The treatment I have received from all the staff has been excellent and could you extend my thanks to them all. A very thankful and relieved patient'.

Patient, Dermatology Outpatients Department, University Hospital of North Durham