Bridgewater Community Healthcare: First look at ReachDeck

Bridgewater Community Healthcare is an NHS Foundation Trust in the north-west of England. They are a leading provider of community health services. As a current customer they were one of the first to try ReachDeck, our new accessibility and inclusion software. Hear what they have to say.

Since 2016, Bridgewater Community Healthcare have been supporting their online visitors with our web accessibility toolbar, Browsealoud (now part of our new solution, ReachDeck.) As longstanding customers, Bridgewater were eager to discover everything that ReachDeck had to offer.


  • The ReachDeck Toolbar is helping their patients to 'self-serve' online
  • The ReachDeck Auditor has proved helpful in the launch of Bridgewater's new website, allowing them to fix accessibility errors during the update
  • Overall, ReachDeck is helping them to make their digital services more accessible than ever

The background

Bridgewater Community Healthcare offers high quality community and specialist services to over 1.3 million people. They complement the role of hospitals and the GP network and provide access to a wide spectrum of out-of-hospital, community-based care services. These include district nursing, health visitors, school nurses, physiotherapy, speech/language therapy, and specialist community dental care.

Patients may be referred to Bridgewater via their GP or healthcare professional, or once they’ve been discharged from hospital. Patients may also ‘self-serve’ by directly requesting services online.

Emphasis on inclusion

As a Community Healthcare Trust, Bridgewater is committed to meeting the needs of every patient. They make reasonable adjustments to services for patients with disabilities and other access needs. Equality and Inclusion Officer Ruth Besford also champions the needs of other seldom heard members of the community. For example, asylum seekers/refugees, economic migrants, members of the gypsy traveler community and BAME groups.

The internet is becoming an increasingly important point of access for patients and that increasingly includes groups like older people, who would traditionally have preferred to be contacted by letter or telephone.

As Ruth explains, there's a steady growth in self-service.  As such, it's vital for Bridgewater to make sure digital access to services is made simple. What’s more, the NHS Accessible Information Standard (AIS) mandates NHS Trusts to make their communications inclusive for all. That includes digital services.

Supporting users online

Since 2016, Bridgewater Community Healthcare has been supporting online visitors with our web accessibility toolbar (previously Browsealoud, now the ReachDeck Toolbar). It’s been helping their users to read and translate their digital content. Assistive technology features have been allowing visitors to:

  • Hear content read out loud
  • Translate text into over 100 languages
  • Increase the size of text with a text magnifier 
  • Reduce screen glare with a screen tint overlay
  • Focus easier with a reading pane function
  • Remove distracting content with the ability to simplify a webpage

Speaking of the toolbar, Ruth says:

“It’s made a really big difference to many of our users. Everything we do at Bridgewater is driven by equality of access. As healthcare service provision goes increasingly digital, it really helps us get more content and resources onto the web in a way that all patients can directly benefit from”.

Today, all these great tools have been integrated into our brand new software, ReachDeck. With ReachDeck, organisations benefit from our web accessibility toolbar, and much more. 

First look at ReachDeck

Having discovered the benefits of our tools so far, Bridgewater Community Healthcare were excited to try ReachDeck. Especially because it offers them more accessibility features than ever before. As well as including the ReachDeck Toolbar, features also include:

  • The ReachDeck Auditor, which identifies accessibility errors across your website. It highlights WCAG compliance errors at Level A, AA and AAA. And identifies readability errors including the use of jargon words and long sentences
  • The ReachDeck Editor, which helps to improve the quality and accessibility of written content. As you type, grammar, spelling and readability errors are identified. Helping organisations edit content in line with best practice

These additional features help organisations to identify accessibility barriers quickly and at scale. They help organisations make sure their content is written in a way which can be understood by everyone. 

With their commitment to inclusion, Bridgewater Community Healthcare were keen to try ReachDeck. And as ReachDeck is our newest product, we were keen to hear what they thought...

So, what was their first reaction?

“Very positive. We just launched a new website and have been using the compliance tool. It’s been so helpful. Before ReachDeck, we were using built in functionality in WordPress for broken link scanning but it doesn't work effectively.”

Adam went on to explain how the ReachDeck Auditor benefited Bridgewater in the launch of their new website:

“I relied on it heavily while updating the website. It flagged up code that was obsolete so I could fix it. It also flagged that a search bar on our website didn’t have a ‘submit’ button. This was a great find and allowed us to fix it too.”

ReachDeck is helping to drive inclusion in the healthcare industry. It's helped Bridgewater to make their digital services even more accessible than before.

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Breaks down communication barriers. Improve the accessibility, readability and reach of your online content.