Feeling certain that Channel Islands Pride 2022 was going to be the year when, after two disrupted years, it would go ahead as planned, we could not have been more wrong!
Guernsey went first in 2022 with CI Pride on 3 September. The weather gods smiled and there was no rain, the parade went without a hitch attracting more people than ever, and Market Square was filled with a happy LGBTQ+ community and allies enjoying a great line up of local and European talent.
The first hurdle Jersey encountered was a new parade route and new venue. The new arrangements were due to our previous location of Jardins de la Mer being unavailable because of the development of the waterfront. The new larger People’s Park meant a much bigger village had to be planned.
A bigger village needed more marquees, and that was our second problem. With a backlog of wedding bookings now going ahead in 2022, marquees were in short supply. Thankfully Jersey Organic Yurts were able to step in to supply their beautiful tents, which added a unique look to the village.
The event was scheduled for 10 September and the Pride Committee worked hard to make the Parade route safe and inclusive for everyone, and get the Park ready with plans for a stage, acts, food and drink vendors, community stalls and family fun – all the things that make CI Pride what it is.
It was whilst we were getting the Pride village built on the Thursday afternoon ahead of the Saturday that we received advance warning that the news was going to break that H M The Queen had died. We knew, at that moment, that whatever we decided we would not be able to please everyone – there would be people who wanted us to cancel altogether, people who wanted us to carry on with the plans unchanged, and people who wanted us to adjust for the circumstances – but do something to mark Pride in Jersey.
We spent Thursday night contacting as many people as we could to gather opinion on the best course of action. In the end, the consensus was to reach a compromise and try to hold all the differing opinions in the same space.
“Following careful consideration and advice from the Bailiff’s Chambers, the #CIPride22 Parade from Royal Square will not take place tomorrow afternoon. The Pride Village will now open at 2.30pm and the afternoon’s events will begin with a minute’s silence at 3pm, followed by reflections on the life of Her Majesty by faith leaders and our speakers, including Lord Cashman CBE. We hope Islanders will use the afternoon to celebrate Her Majesty’s life, and the positive progress for LGBTQ+ rights during her reign.”
CI Pride 2022 in Jersey opened in somber mood with a minute’s silence and reflections on the progress of LGBTQ+ rights during The Queen’s reign from CI Pride Director Christian May, Lord Cashman CBE and Ian Green CEO of Terrence Higgins Trust. Kerry Langlois sang a moving rendition of Amazing Grace and a moment of private contemplation was led by Methodist Minister Dawn Saunders. The commemoration was concluded with a powerful version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Dr Adam Perchard.
The rest of the afternoon went according to schedule with Adam hosting the stage and DJ Hannah Jacques providing music in between acts. The running order was:
15.30 Sister Disco and Little Black Dress
16.45 Rich Allo
20.00 Woody Cook
CI Pride 2022 in Jersey was a time of celebration but also reflection. We want to thank everyone who attended for their positivity and support for the changes we made following the death of Her Majesty. We also want to express a huge thanks to all the acts, suppliers, vendors, caterers, charities and everyone who made the day such a success. Our special thanks to our stage directors Daniel Austin and Hettie Duncan, host Dr Adam Perchard and to our headliners Woody Cook and Queenz.
Thank you to the people and organisations who create the village and support Pride – Jason and the JDC team, Rob and the Stage 2 team and the G4S team. Our special thanks go to Katie at Mantra Brand House for all her hard work on the artwork, marketing and design of CI Pride 2022.
Thank you to our sponsors. They ensure that Pride remains free for anyone to attend, which is essential to making Pride one of the most inclusive events in the islands. 2022 was particularly challenging, but our sponsors adapted as plans changed. Thank you to our gold sponsors Mourant and JE. Thank you to the Channel Islands Co-Operative Society, our founding sponsor. Thank you to Ogier, HSBC, RBC, IQ EQ, Walkers and Carey Olsen for sponsoring the zones. Thank you to Equiom and Corbett Le Quesne for their support and sponsorship. And thank you to Government of Jersey for their support this year.
Finally, thank you especially to our Pride committee led by Christian May. It was not the Pride that they planned, but our team of volunteers took the changes in their stride to deliver a different Pride. Thank you to Nigel, Carla, Jane, Angela, Jo, Josh, Paddy, Hannah, Grace and Marta.
UPDATE: We asked and you responded! Thank you to everyone who provided feedback to our survey. Please see our CI Pride 2022 Review here for the results.
A reminder from Jersey’s Sexual Health team ahead of Channel Islands Pride – don’t let monkeypox spoil your fun. Stay safe at Channel Islands Pride and when travelling abroad.
Monkeypox symptoms can be treated, it is usually mild, and most people recover in two to four weeks. Early symptoms include high temperature, headache, muscle ache, backache, swollen glands, shivering (chills) and exhaustion. A rash usually appears after 1 to 5 days.
Anyone can contract monkeypox, however, most cases in the UK are currently found in men, this means that men who have sex with men are at a greater risk of contracting the virus. Although it is not described as a sexually transmitted infection, it’s important that gay and bisexual men are especially alert as it’s believed to be spreading in sexual networks.
Practice good hygiene
Practice safe sex
Be safe in your surroundings
If you think you have monkeypox or have been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox symptoms, contact your GP or call the GUM (sexual health) clinic on 01534 442856. Avoid close personal or sexual contact with others until you have had a clinical assessment. Phone the clinic ahead of your visit and avoid close contact with others until you have been seen by a clinician. Your call or discussion will be treated sensitively and confidentially.
As part of CI Pride week Liberate’s newest patron, The Right Honourable Lord Cashman of Limehouse CBE will be the keynote speaker at Liberate’s ‘Power and Equality’ Conference held in Jersey on Friday 9 September.
Vic Tanner Davy, Liberate’s CEO, said: “We are delighted that we can announce Michael’s patronage of Liberate with an invitation to deliver the keynote speech at our Pride week conference. We approached Michael earlier this year to become a patron of the charity, when he was in the Island for Holocaust Memorial Day, and we were delighted when he agreed. Michael’s life-long activism on behalf of human rights, but LGBTQ+ rights in particular, makes him a perfect fit for Liberate and reflects our charitable mission and values.”
The Power and Equality Conference, a day of talks, debates and discussions, is kindly sponsored by BCR Law and Jersey Community Relations Trust. The aim of the conference is to bring people together to discuss the big issues affecting the Island, which often disproportionately affect people from minority communities, and to hear from a diverse collection of voices. All States members have been invited to participate in the day along with individuals with lived experience of being from a minority group in Jersey, business leaders, ED&I champions, Government employees and charities.
In an age where social and traditional medias are setting up and then encouraging and enabling divisive arguments Michael’s keynote speech will tackle the urgent need to remove toxicity from public discourse, our personal responsibility to behave with empathy in public life, and the importance of this attitude to building healthy, inclusive democracies.
Vic said: “We are excited to hear Michael’s speech. As the Labour spokesman on human rights in the European Parliament between 1999 and 2014, and now a life peer, he is used to debating difficult, controversial and often deeply personal issues. A lifelong campaigner for LGBTQ+ rights, Michael believes firmly that working together, cross party and in coalition is the most effective way to make change for those groups that lack essential rights. As an actor, he understands the power of words to win hearts and minds, making persuasive speeches to swing votes in the various democratic institutions in which he has worked.”
Lord Cashman said: “I am looking forward to returning to Jersey, seeing more of the Island and meeting the newly elected States members, Islanders from minority groups, charity representatives and other delegates. Being Liberate’s patron I want to learn more about the Island and the issues it faces currently, so I can support the charity in its work. The conference is the perfect opportunity for me to find out more.”
For more information about the conference and tickets, click here.
CI Pride will be held in Jersey on Saturday 10 September with parade that will draw inspiration from the first UK Pride march in 1972 that protested against the discrimination experienced by LGBTQ+ people.
Christian May, CI Pride Director in Jersey, said: “We are marking the 50th anniversary of Pride in the UK by acknowledging the work of the people who bravely came out onto the street to campaign for change through a Seventies themed Pride this year. The gay rights movement came from the movements of the 1960s that demanded women’s rights and civil rights. The rights of all minority groups have improved since the early days, but there is still work to be done towards full equality. In the celebratory atmosphere of Pride it can be overlooked that Pride is still a protest – a reminder that things are not equal for everyone.”
Guernsey will hold CI Pride on Saturday 3 September and then pass the baton to Jersey on Saturday 10 September. Jersey’s parade will start at Royal Square and end at the Pride village in People’s Park where there will be stalls and wellbeing, family and community zones. The main stage will be headlined by ITV’s ‘Walk the Line’ Queenz and ‘The Circle’ star, DJ Woody Cook. There will be a supporting a line up of local talent being showcased, too. More acts will be announced shortly.
Mourant has sponsored CI Pride for three consecutive years and Mourant Jersey Managing Partner, Daniel Birtwistle said: “Mourant is thrilled to support CI Pride for the third consecutive year by sponsoring this year’s parade across both islands. Pride is a fantastic opportunity to bring everyone together to celebrate the islands’ diverse community, raise awareness of challenges experienced by the LGBT+ community, and of steps we can all take in creating an environment where everyone can be their true selves.
“We’re committed to nurturing a culture of inclusivity and mutual respect, where our people of all backgrounds, identities and experiences are empowered to thrive and feel that they belong. Team Mourant is looking forward to joining the parades in September and supporting inclusion across our whole community.”
JE is also sponsoring Pride in Jersey for their second year and Head of Organisation Development, Dave Crossland said: “Jersey Electricity is immensely proud to be Gold Sponsors of this year’s CI Pride event. We enable life’s essentials for everyone in our community, regardless of personal history or background. Openly recognising each other and contributing to a community that celebrates and values difference is something that we will continue to do now and in the future. Being mindful of the diversity in our employee and customer communities means that we constantly seek to listen to and include everyone. CI Pride is a fantastic way for us to celebrate together.”
Keep up to date with all event news and information through the Channel Islands Pride Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages and website.
Please keep yourself and others healthy this summer by being aware of the facts about Monkeypox and how it is spread.
Monkeypox is a rare viral infection. Recently, there have been a number of cases in the UK, Europe and other parts of the world.
The infection can spread through close physical contact, like kissing, skin-to-skin, sex or sharing things like bedding and towels.
Monkeypox has not been described as a sexually transmitted infection, although it can be passed on by direct contact during sex. It is important to remind everyone to be alert to any unusual rashes or lesions on any part of their body, especially their genitalia.
Monkeypox cases in the UK are most prevalent in men at the present time. This means that men who have sex with men are at a greater risk of contracting it. Everyone is being asked to be aware of the monkeypox symptoms, but it’s important gay and bisexual men are especially alert as it’s believed to be spreading in sexual networks.
Monkeypox symptoms can be treated, it is usually mild and most people recover in two to four weeks.
The signs and symptoms are:
• Recent unexpected/unusual spots, ulcers or blisters anywhere on your body
• Muscle aches
• Chills and exhaustion
• Swollen glands
You can help stop the spread of Monkeypox by:
• If you or any recent partners have developed unexpected or unusual spots, ulcers or blisters on any part of your body, including your face or genitals, call your GP or the sexual health (GUM) service, as soon as possible. You will be treated sensitively and confidentially.
• And additionally avoid close physical contact with others until you have had medical advice. This will minimise the chance of passing it on.
It is important that if you have any of these symptoms, you must not attend the sexual health clinic or GP before you have sought advice via telephone. Call the sexual health (GUM) clinic: 01534 442856 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
More information can be found here: https://www.tht.org.uk/news/monkeypox-uk
Vic Tanner Davy, Liberate’s CEO, has been honoured in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Birthday Honours for his services to diversity and inclusion in the Channel Islands.
When I was tapped on the shoulder at the march for equal marriage in June 2014 and asked by Liberate Guernsey whether I would start up Liberate in Jersey, I had no idea what a journey I was about to go on. I have met some inspiring, diverse and colourful Islanders on that journey, including my (now) wife, Paddy, who was one of the founding board members of Liberate, and Christian May, who was our first Chair and who is still a board member and CI Pride Director.
I am incredibly proud of what the charity has achieved in terms of our work with Government on same sex marriage law, discrimination legislation, the pathway to healthcare for transgender and non-binary Islanders, leading the ‘Access the Island’ part of the disability strategy, being part of awareness campaigns, consultations and scrutiny including, most recently, presenting the case for better accessibility in the new hospital plans. I am also proud of the work we have done in the community from all the training and talks we have delivered to organisations and groups, to our Accès and DIFERA accreditations schemes, to our counselling service, including our support for people living with HIV, to our partnership with BLM Jersey, to our involvement in diversity panels, to delivering Channel Islands Pride since 2015. I really want to thank everybody (and there have been a lot of people!) who has been part of Liberate’s work since 2014.
In a nutshell, my role and responsibility is to be the voice in the room that reminds people that not everyone in Jersey has the privilege of being accepted for who they are wherever they go. Mostly that reminder has been welcome, but for some people it feels uncomfortable or too difficult, which is where Liberate’s work begins in educating, exploring and discussing difference. Over the last 8 years, we have done that as a charity and conversations in workplaces, schools and homes that were not being had when we started are now much more common. So, for me, the honour also recognises that Jersey is on a path towards being an Island that embraces all its citizens.
I am so lucky to work alongside all my Liberate colleagues, past and present, in Jersey and Guernsey and I am hugely privileged to support the clients we work with at times when they are often at their most vulnerable because an incident has happened to them or they are in the process of working out a new identity. These wonderful people teach me new ways of seeing the world every day. Receiving an honour from the Queen for work that I am already honoured to do is the icing on a rainbow-coloured cake!
The 2022 election is going to see significant change in how our Government is elected and formed. The new constituencies and emergence of political parties make it one of the most interesting and unpredictable in living memory.
With elections come manifestos that set out the values of the party or individual and their intended course of action, if elected. They form a contract with the electorate.
With the emergence of political parties these documents become more important because a block of elected members stand a much better chance of making their manifesto pledges a reality than individual members who may be a lone voice.
This is why Liberate has put together and circulated a document called ‘manifesto dialogue’. (Download a pdf version here.)
As a charity Liberate cannot endorse any candidate or political party, but we can ask questions to find out where candidates stand on issues that are important to the work we do, and we can inform candidates of the problems we would like to see Jersey’s Government, in its widest sense, solve.
This document is a way of sharing Liberate’s current concerns with our next potential States Members in order that they will think about our points and respond to some or all of them in their manifestos. In that sense, it is a dialogue.
Our areas of concern are divided into personal characteristics, some of which are protected by Discrimination Law.
We would like to see manifestos pledge their support for the following 7 issues (for more details, click each pledge) and put forward plans for action regarding:
1. The rights of migrant workers, to give all workers protection and security making Jersey a welcoming and ethical jurisdiction in which to live.
2. The appointment of an Equalities Minister with responsibility for addressing systemic discrimination and creating an inclusive culture within the institutions of Government and wider society.
3. The harm being done by social media and other online platforms.
4. The housing crisis facing young adults in Jersey, to enable them to afford the dignity of independent living.
5. Caring for an aging population and making the older generation as prominent in the Government’s strategic thinking as the young.
6. Investment in Jersey’s property portfolio, especially education buildings, with plans for upgrading facilities to include everyone.
7. Bold solutions to the widening divide between rich and poor in the Island and to generating revenue that does not place an additional financial burden on low income households in Jersey.
Our dialogue with candidates standing for election looks at the issues of immigration, equality and inclusion, social media, housing, social care, educational investment and the wealth gap through the lens of one minority group affected by the issue.
However, it is the case that not just one minority group is affected by these issues. Making the workplace fairer for migrant workers may also make the workplace fairer for women and disabled employees who disproportionately fill more precarious part-time positions; creating inclusive workplace cultures and tackling social media harms benefits everyone; dealing with the housing crisis could also help older people wanting to sell to downsize and disabled people needing accessible accommodation; looking after our elderly better may benefit families, who may have caring responsibilities at both ends of the age spectrum; improving school facilities has a direct positive impact for our young people; and, reducing the wealth gap may touch the lives of many minorities as there is a correlation between low incomes and being part of a minority group.
Minority issues are rarely ever a problem for a minority of people. Making life better for those most impacted by an inequality often has the consequence of making things better for more people outside that minority group.
We therefore encourage candidates to listen closely to minority voices in their campaigns and during their term of office, if elected, as those on the margins and touched most by an issue often see the solution clearest.
If you would like to get in contact with Liberate to send us your manifesto, please email email@example.com
As a charity concerned with diversity, inclusion and equality, our interest in the Review is focused on how immigrants are treated on arrival in Jersey.
The Migration Control Policy (Section 8 – Migrants’ rights) makes it clear that more work needs to be done to welcome immigrants and that this will be addressed by ministers, although no timeline for this work is given. The work is also limited to three areas: healthcare, social security, family life.
It is widely acknowledged that Jersey will always be reliant on some foreign workers either to bring skills to the island that cannot be home grown, or to fill the vacancies Islanders do not want to fill. It is vital that Government address the ill treatment, discrimination, prejudice and human rights abuses that occur, or Jersey will continue to have a ‘revolving door’ of workers who leave for places where they receive a warmer welcome, which benefits nobody.
There is little in the Common Population Policy to address the question of immigrant rights. Some acknowledgement of public sentiment is included on p.32: ‘Many liked the cultural diversity of the Island with all members of the younger (18-30) group wanting the Island to be more multicultural and inclusive… This group also felt that Jersey could have a stronger identity and be more welcoming to incomers’.
Despite diversity and inclusion being repeated within the focus groups’ research a number of times, particularly as being a factor that would help young people stay in Jersey, nothing in the Common Population Policy addresses how immigrant workers may be unfairly treated by employers and what should be done to improve matters.
A number of charities, including Liberate, who work with immigrant groups are aware of cases involving workers who have been treated unfairly. Example issues arising from these cases:
The suggestion that Jersey’s Employment and Discrimination Tribunal is the forum in which an employee can seek justice and redress for being unfairly treated or discriminated against does not work for immigrant workers as it does for other workers because:
We would like to see somewhere within the work on migration and population the Government addressing the sharp practise involving immigrant workers that is happening in Jersey. We would like to see:
The new hospital plans were submitted to the Planning Department on 30 November 2021. From the perspective of disabled access, we were disappointed by a number of aspects of the plans and have responded to the request for public comments as follows:
As a charity involved in accessibility audits, we have been attending the Our Hospital public meetings and have raised the importance of accessibility on several occasions.
This is a brief response to the plans submitted. We have not had time to read and respond to the entire submission. The following is, therefore, a selection of concerns at a macro level that relate to Jersey’s approved technical guidance documents ‘Part 8: access to and use of buildings’.
Some consideration of people with disabilities is evident within the plans for the new hospital as the Design Disability Access Statement makes clear. Disappointingly, it falls short of the ‘world class’ facility that has been championed in the media in terms of consideration of people with disabilities. The statement makes it clear that the ethos is about complying with minimum standards rather than exceeding those standards to create a building that truly considers people with all sorts of disabilities.
There are to be 550 parking spaces in the multi storey. From the plans, these all appear to be standard spaces.
There are a number of disabled parking spaces shown as follows: 2 x knowledge centre, 24 x main hospital, 8 x mental health centre; total of 34 designated disabled spaces.
There appear to be no enlarged parking spaces, no parent and child parking spaces, and no large designated accessible parking space (4.8m x 8m).
BS8300-1 part 7.2 recommends medical and health facilities should provide 6% of total parking spaces as designated disabled spaces and, in addition, 4% of total parking spaces as of enlarged spaces. This would be 35 designated disabled spaces (584 x 6% = 35) and 24 enlarged spaces (584 x 4% = 23.36).
Part 7.4.1 says: ‘Designated accessible parking spaces should be provided for all known users who are disabled motorists (driver or passenger) and for other disabled motorists visiting the building or location.
‘Spaces designated for known users who are disabled (e.g. staff whether paid or unpaid) should be differentiated from spaces designated for other users. In addition, a number of enlarged standard spaces of 3.6 m wide × 6 m long should be provided that could be adapted to be designated accessible parking spaces.
‘Where space permits, at least one large designated accessible parking space, 4.8 m wide × 8 m long, should be provided to cater for commercial vehicles converted for side or rear access using hoists or ramps.
‘Designated accessible parking spaces should be solely for the use of disabled people. If there is an evidenced need, parent and child parking spaces should be provided in addition to any other designated/assigned parking spaces.’
We are disappointed that:
The use of sheet glass and metal frames is pervasive in modern public buildings and it causes problems for people with disabilities, particularly visual impairments. Finding a glass door in a wall of glass can be extremely difficult for some people. Anyone who has walked into a patio door thinking it was open will (painfully) testify to the problems of glass entrances. Glass reflects making it difficult to visualise what you are seeing beyond the door and, therefore, stepping into. Light bounces off glass making it glare on bright days.
We are disappointed to see the entrances of the main hospital, knowledge centre and mental health centre all follow this trend. From the artistic impressions in the submission, it is impossible to make out the doors on all three buildings from their surrounding glass windows – this gives the non-visually impaired person an idea of the difficulties we are describing.
The canopy over the main entrance to the hospital is shown in the artistic impressions as casting some strong criss-crossing shadows. These pools of shade cutting across the canopy pillars, forecourt and main entrance could be very difficult to negotiate for some people.
We would like to see the canopy re-considered to make its structure simpler and its shadow less confusing.
The artistic impression of the main hospital foyer is a large open plan area that the user steps into. Having been ‘funnelled’ through the entrance, it suddenly opens up into what could, at times, be a bustling part of the hospital. This may simply be too much for users sensitive to stimulus or who have hearing loss; for other users finding the information desk with nothing to guide you there, such as a handrail, may be difficult.
There does not appear to be any quiet room attached to the reception help desk where someone who is struggling with the foyer environment can be assisted privately.
The seating in the foyer appears to largely be without arm rests. This is unhelpful to people with certain disabilities who require armrests to help them stand/sit.
There are a lot of doors in the plans. Doors are problematic for wheelchair users, people with diminished strength (of which their will be a number in a hospital), people with restricted mobility and others, particularly if they are made ‘heavier’ through the use of door closers.
Whilst we acknowledge that door closers are required for fire safety, we hope that they will not be used on every door, e.g. the bathroom doors within the single bed wards would be more accessible without door closers. We hope that the use of free swing door closers, which allow the door to behave as if there is no door closer in place, but are linked to the fire alarm system so will close in an emergency, would be used on doors, such as to the single bed wards, as this would allow patients with any level of strength/mobility to leave their room unaided. We hope that all doors in passageways will be automated, opening on approach, and not manual or push pad opening.
Please consider whether facilities for disabled users are set behind doors that make those facilities inaccessible, e.g. in the knowledge centre on the ground floor there is a disabled WC, which has an outwards opening door (without door closer, we assume) that allows a user to control it better, but it is set behind an inward opening door to the suite of toilets.
Where doors need to be locked and accessible to staff only, key fobs are better than key pads. These should be set at an accessible height and well back from the door they control, ideally on the natural approach route. Many wheelchair users cannot get into the corner by a door jamb because of the footplate of their chair, in order to operate a key fob lock sited there. Often, they also cannot get back into position to get through the door before it locks again.
There is much that will be key for wayfinding in the choices of colours, fonts, pictures etc in the new hospital. The design of signage and information may be outside the brief of planning, but we highlight it whenever we have the opportunity as it will be critical in making the new hospital accessible.
Having undertaken an exercise in wayfinding in the current hospital with various impairments, we are aware of how crucial this is to a patient finding their appointment or giving up before they get there.
Building users must not be reliant on staffed information points for assistance. What if the staff are called away? Too busy to help? Or Jersey cannot recruit people to fill these admin roles? Users may not have the confidence to ask for help, may wish to be independent, or may get confused enroute and not be near an information point, so there must ways to help yourself that are accessible for all.
We would like to see the use of strong colours that start on the appointment letter and follow all the way through the site from entrance to department, similar to the London tube map and the tiles on the tube tunnel walls. Colours assist people with low vision and learning disabilities, amongst others.
Colours may also be used to denote functions of rooms behind a door, e.g. blue for cleaning cupboards, green for toilets, red for staff areas.
Pictograms are also useful for assisting people who do not have English as a first language and/or have learning disabilities. Again, these should be used on the initial appointment letter and follow through the site.
Signage that uses words should be standardised in style and positioning, large sans serif font, proper case (capital then lower case), avoid shiny surfaces, and avoid black writing on a white background whilst still having a strong contrast between the background and letters.
Braille signage should be included at consistent heights/positions around the site to assist users.
Audio information points/intercoms should include auditory couplers/hearing loops.
Some of the above points are acknowledged at a high level within the submission, but detail is lacking as to how it is intended to be implemented.
Single bed wards
There is debate within the health profession over the advantages/disadvantages of single bed wards. There are 75% single bed wards and 25% four bed wards within the designs. Maternity and obstetrics is going to be 100% single bed wards.
Whilst single bed wards may appeal to the public, who when fit and healthy place a premium on privacy, and in an age of COVID may seem like a way of controlling cross-infection, they can have disadvantages for people with disabilities:
We would like every department within the hospital to have a choice of ward type in order that those who have additional needs may use a ward that gives them an environment that is better suited to them.
The lecture theatre in the knowledge centre does not appear to have any provision for wheelchair users to attend a lecture as the first row of seats is up one step. The first row needs to start on floor level and have the ability to remove seats from the row so that a wheelchair user can join in the front row and not be stuck out in front of the audience on their own.
Lift design does not appear in the artistic impressions, however we have seen a number of lifts that have full length mirrors, reflective surfaces, gleaming metalwork etc. All these serve to disorientate some users. We also see lifts without tactile call/control buttons and with the emergency speaking port at standing level only and with no hearing loop.
Within the artistic impressions, there do not appear to be any pictures showing incidental seating enroute to departments. With a large building to navigate, a variety of seating must be provided for users at regular intervals in corridors, not just in waiting areas.
If you wish to view the plans or respond, the planning application can be viewed here:
Liberate’s Accès accreditation scheme launched in December 2019 with the aim of raising public awareness of the need to ensure premises were accessible by 1 September 2020, but interest in the scheme only really started to pick up after the final piece of the Discrimination (Jersey) Law 2013 came into force.
The Accès accreditation provides organisations with a report containing recommendations for adjustments they could make to improve access for people with disabilities, employee training on welcoming people with disabilities as customers or colleagues, and a mystery shopper visit.
Liberate have also partnered with Eyecan to jointly badge the accreditation. Clients who are awarded with the Accès accreditation also receive Eyecan’s accreditation that gives people with sight impairment the confidence to use a business or service in the knowledge that their needs will be catered for. This joint working has been beneficial to both charities in sharing best practise about adjustments for people with disabilities, and for clients of the scheme in receiving both accreditations.
Over the last year, Liberate’s team of auditors that includes people with various disabilities has undertaken more than 60 accessibility audits of premises for clients including the Channel Islands Co-Operative Society, Romerils, Standard Bank, Mind Jersey, the States of Jersey Police and the Government of Jersey. Liberate’s auditors have visited buildings as varied as the Library, household recycling centre, the Opera House, the Royal Court, the States Chamber, the Central Market, Highlands College, Victoria College, numerous primary schools, shops, car parks, office blocks and health buildings.
The recommendations from the audits have been mixed with some challenging buildings that have a Grade I listed status being very difficult to adjust at one end of the spectrum and, at the other end, modern buildings constructed in the last 20 years having some accessibility already built-in and needing fewer adjustments.
The part of the audit that always causes Liberate’s auditors to write notes is the accessible toilet facilities. Organisations never seem to get these right. There are a number of common themes: items stored in the transfer space beside the toilet, such as bins or cleaning equipment; handwashing and drying equipment out of reach of the toilet; emergency cords tied up, so they do not reach to the floor; hooks at one (standing) height on the back of the door; and, sanitaryware that is white in a white room. If the transfer space is not kept clear someone cannot manoeuvre their wheelchair into the space beside the toilet to then transfer from it; if handwashing and drying facilities are not within reach of the toilet someone might have to transfer back to their wheelchair with dirty or wet hands; if the emergency cord is tied up you cannot reach to pull it if you have fallen on the floor; if hooks are only at standing height on the rear of the door people who are seated have nowhere to hang a bag or coat; and, if sanitaryware is white against white people with sight impairments may not distinguish it.
The reality is that no building will ever be totally accessible because everyone who has a disability is different (even if nominally they have the same disability). For employees adjustments will often be made on an individual basis to suit them and their role. In the UK, ACAS found that only 4% of reasonable adjustments have a cost and, even then, the average is £184 per disabled employee. For visitors to organisations adjustments have to be made in anticipation of who might wish to use the premises, which is more difficult and where it is good to get some advice.
It is critical that organisations who do not want to discriminate against disabled customers think ahead about their premises and training their employees. Undertaking an audit will reveal small adjustments that can make a big difference to someone visiting your premises and demonstrates a willingness to support people with disabilities. Often these adjustments help people without disabilities, too. A large part of welcoming disabled people is good customer service, but there are some technical details it is helpful for employees to know, so undertaking training is key to being more understanding about the challenges people with disabilities can face.
For Liberate’s auditors with disabilities the experience of being part of Accés has been about making a difference for other people with disabilities, and rather than being about finding barriers, it has been about finding out where they can access. Some auditors, who thought they would never be able to access certain places, have gained confidence from visiting premises and seeing the adjustments already in place. Some auditors, who were having difficulties getting into work, have gained new skills and experience that they have taken into other roles.
As a result of the work carried out by Liberate’s auditors, there are now a number of organisations in Jersey that are making adjustments to their physical premises to welcome people with disabilities and have employees trained in how to work better with clients/colleagues with disabilities. Crucially, these organisations are committed to making the adjustments needed by people with disabilities who interact with them, as demonstrated by the Accès badge.
It is important that there are organisations making a public statement by displaying the Accès logo, and are demonstrating that they want people with disabilities to be able to fully engage with them. Liberate hopes that the kitemark will become a trusted symbol for people with disabilities in Jersey that guarantees a positive experience and friendly welcome. If you would like to know more about the Accès scheme, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org