Concerns have been raised about the accessibility at Royal Berkshire Hospital, with the hospital confirming it will take action to improve the situation.

Speaking at Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) Health and Wellbeing Board on Friday, Ramona Bridgman, chair of the Reading Family Forum, raised concerns about accessibility at the hospital.

Reading Family Forum provides a voice for families of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

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Ms Bridgman said: "It is not an accessible hospital and it needs to be for the 21st century. It is causing a lot of distress to a lot of disabled families."

"It is really hard to push a child or teenager in a wheelchair across the site from the West Drive huts. It is really hard to take a child to A+E."

She also said a lot of families struggle to lift their children onto hospital beds, with a lack of equipment to help with this.

Responding, Nicky Lloyd, acting chief executive at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, said the hospital will take “immediate” action to resolve the issues.

She said: “We became aware we weren’t doing all we could in this regard and certainly it isn't something we are going wait for site redevelopment to address."

The trust is looking into ramps, wayfinding signs, the auditory environment for those who have hearing difficult and how straightforward it is to get from one part of the site to another at Royal Berks.

Most of the small West Drive buildings will be demolished in February or March.

Reading Chronicle: TM 25 Jan 2021 Reading/Royal Berks: Hospital accessibility concerns These audiology buildings will be demolishedTM 25 Jan 2021 Reading/Royal Berks: Hospital accessibility concerns These audiology buildings will be demolished

The whole of the Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will be covered by an “extensive open access review” and Ms Lloyd said the issue is being “immediately addressed”.

Ms Bridgman had raised the issues after a presentation from the trust on plans to build a new Royal Berkshire Hospital.

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The plans could see Royal Berks move to a new site or a new hospital built on the same site.

But Ms Lloyd said the trust would not wait until building a new hospital to improve accessibility.