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StartHere launched at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

23 March 2011

Chelsea and Westminster has become the first hospital in the UK to make a new information service called StartHere available to patients and their carers following its launch today.

Photo: Ganesh Sathyamoorthy (NIHR CLAHRC for North West London), Susan Maxwell (Patient Governor), Alex Prior (Outpatient Service Improvement Lead), Professor Derek Bell (NIHR CLAHRC for North West London), Jane Tippett (Acting Assistant Director of Nursing), Sarah Hamilton-Fairley (Chief Executive of StartHere) and Charlotte Mackenzie Crooks (Staff Governor)

Chelsea and Westminster has become the first hospital in the UK to make a new information service called StartHere available to patients and their carers following its launch today.

StartHere, which can be accessed by using the two touch screen information kiosks on the ground floor of the hospital next to the Membership and Patient Advice and Liaison (M-PALS) office and in the Information Zone next to Costa Coffee, signposts people to organisations that can help them.

Staff based in the M-PALS office already help more than 1,300 people with requests for information every year.

StartHere brings together a vast amount of up-to-date information in a way that is simply presented and easy to understand, in categories including coping and caring, housing, rights and services, and work and education.

Thérèse Davis, Chief Nurse and Director of Patient Flow & Patient Experience at Chelsea and Westminster, says: “We are committed to improving the quality of information that we provide to patients and carers in new and innovative ways.

“I am delighted that Chelsea and Westminster is the first hospital in the country to make StartHere available to those who use our services and their carers.”

Sarah Hamilton-Fairley, Chief Executive of StartHere, adds: “We aim to make information easy to use and accessible to all by tackling the issue of digital exclusion which means that, while 30 million people in the UK use the internet every day, 9 million people never use it.

“We believe that StartHere is a practical example of the new approach to providing information to patients and carers that Health Secretary Andrew Lansley described in the Government consultation paper ‘An Information Revolution’.”

In his introduction to this paper published last year, Mr Lansley said: “Different people and groups in society access information differently and need it presented in different ways.

“We must ensure the right information is available and presented in a relevant way to those who could be excluded.”