Accessibility Statement

As a public sector organisation, there is a legal duty to make sure websites and apps meet accessibility requirements.

The new accessibility regulations mean public sector organisations have a legal duty to make sure websites and apps meet accessibility requirements. As an organisation we are committed to try and making our website accessible for all, we aim to achieve the recommended government standard for web accessibility (WCAG 2.1 AA).

As a user with accessible needs, you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in up to 400% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader

We also aim to make the website text as simple as possible to understand.

How accessible this website is

We have identified the following features on our website which are not fully accessible:

  • Older PDF and Word documents are not fully accessible
  • Some of our videos do not include transcripts

What to do if you can’t access parts of this website

If you need information on this website in a different format like an accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille, please email or call 01935 384022.

We will consider your request and get back to you within 10 working days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website 

We are always looking to improve the accessibility of this website and are continuing to audit our content as we go along. If you find something that you are unable to access, or we have failed to identify a barrier, please let us know.

If you find any problems that are not listed on this page or think we are not meeting accessibility requirements, please email

Enforcement procedure  

If you are unhappy with the response you have received from NHS Somerset about your accessibility related issue, you can make a complaint to NHS Somerset by emailing

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you are not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Technical information about this website’s accessibility 

NHS Somerset is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Non accessible content 

  1. Some of our PDF and Word documents published prior to September 2020, do not meet the required accessibility standards. If you require a PDF or a Word document in an accessible format such as large print, easy read, audio recording or braille, please email
  2. The website also contains a range of third party content and functionality. This may direct you to a related service, or partner we work with, where we are not responsible for the accessibility of this content.

Disproportionate burden

PDF and Word documents

Most of our PDF and Word documents do not meet accessibility guidelines (WCAG 2.1 AA). This includes our Governing Body, Primary Care Commissioning Committee and Annual Report papers. We have reviewed these documents and the costs of recreating them in an accessible format. We believe that doing so would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. If you require any of our PDFs in an accessible format, please email

In November 2020, we will be looking to create accessible templates to ensure our PDF documents will be compliant from the point of creation. We had planned to do this at the beginning of 2020, though unfortunately the coronavirus pandemic had started and took priority.

Please note that we are not responsible for PDF and Word documents from external organisations.

YouTube video clips

NHS Somerset have developed a handful of videos and some them are without any captions and transcripts, and this will be the case for some of them before March 2020. However, we’re in the process of going through our video clips and have included the option of having captions on through YouTube, and are including transcripts where we can. This work is likely to be completed by November 2020.

Alt text on images

We are in the process of working through our images on the website and within our documents. We are ensuring that each image includes appropriate alternative text and is suitable within its context.

Content that is not within the scope of the accessibility regulations 

Many of our older PDF and Word documents do not meet accessibility standards. For example, they may not be structured appropriately to be fully accessible for screen reader software. These documents do not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role value).

Some of our PDF and Word documents are essential to sharing information. Over the coming months we will be developing new PDF templates for our content writers to follow, or replacing a PDF with an accessible HTML page where we can.

The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they are not essential to the organisation. However, we recognise that there are a number of PDF and Word documents that are essential to the organisation. In these cases we are asking individuals to email us at  if they require a document in an alternative format.

Any new PDF or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards, from December 2020.

How we tested this website

This website was last audited on 14 September 2020 and we continue to review key pages and content. The test was carried out by our trusted agency and our staff undertaking manual checks.

As our website contains hundreds of pages, we selected a sample of pages to test based on average use, volume of traffic, and content type. We tested the following pages as they contain our main features used across the site:

What we’re doing to improve our accessibility

We will be training the communications and engagement team and content editors of the website, ensuring that they understand the new accessibility regulations and what is required of them.

We have agreed to carry out an annual audit of the public facing NHS Somerset website to make sure we are complying with the new regulations to the best of our ability.

We are aware that there are still some changes that need to be made to the website and we will look to do these over the coming months.