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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, 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

Disability Confident Scheme 

As an organisation we have signed up to the following to support staff with a disability or long term health condition. 

As part of the scheme the Trust is committed to providing inclusive processes to ensure we employ and retain disabled people and those with health conditions. 

This is achieved through inclusive recruitment processes and by supporting our existing disabled staff and staff with health conditions employees to manage their disabilities or health conditions to retain them. 

Project Choice 

This is a supported internship hosted by CDDFT and managed by HEENE, designed to give young people with learning difficulties, disabilities or autism, the chance to gain work experience, undertake an employability qualification and complete a work-based internship. The project tailors a programme to the needs of the young people which enables them to meet and develop their individual skills.


NHS Employment Pledge 

CDDFT has signed up to the NHS Employment Pledge at Level 2 which enforces our commitment to supporting the recruitment of people with learning disabilities.

Chaplaincy Service

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

Staff Health Passport 

As part of our commitment to support staff with a disability or a medical condition CDDFT has introduced a Health Passport which is an undertaking entered into between a line manager, on behalf of the organisation, and an employee. 

This is a vital document that can be used for the benefit of individuals and their line managers where staff feel that their circumstances could have an impact on their ability to work either currently or at some point in the future and agreeing any workplace adjustments or work-life balance issues.


Staff Network Groups 

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) staff network

The CDDFT Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) staff network group offers a place for staff to come together, share experiences and work to improve staff experience. Our staff network supports a fairer and more diverse NHS for everyone encouraging respect and equality for all. 

Ethnic Minority Group

This is a collaborative group of staff working towards advancing diversity and equality for Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) minorities, as well as staff from other Ethnic backgrounds. 

Disability Network Group

The Staff Network Group for Disability aims to breaks down barriers and give disabled and people with a long-term health condition a voice which raise the profile of all disabilities. 

Equality and Diversity Staff Network

This is an open face to face network group which is open to all staff to attend, particularly staff from across the nine protected characteristics of gender, marriage/civil partnership status, disability, race, sexual orientation, religion or belief, age, pregnancy/maternity status or gender identity.

'Every aspect of my emergency care was dealt with quickly, efficiently and professionally with full explanations and compassion from all staff involved'.

Patient, Emergency Department, Darlington Memorial Hospital