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Access

Barriers to accessing  services

These are the factors that prevent an individual gaining access to health, social care and early years services.  It may be that they do not know about the services available.  Individuals may face more than on barrier to accessing services.

Physical barriers

  • These are  objects that prevent an individual from getting where they must go e.g. a wheelchair user is unable to enter a building because the doorway is too narrow or there are steps so they can’t get to the entrance.

Psychological barriers

  • This barrier affects the way an individual thinks about a service e.g. it may be they have a fear of the dentist.  If an individual feels unwell but they are worried about finding out what is wrong .  They may not seek help from their GP.

Financial barrier

  • This to do with how much it might cost to access a service.   If the health, social care or early years service the individual is trying to access is some distance away they may not be able to afford the transport costs to get there.  If a patient  has to pay for medical prescriptions they may not be able to afford it so they do not get the medicine they need.

Geographical barrier

  • Some individuals live near health, social care and early years services and others may live some distance away.   For those individuals who do not live near the services they may find that the buses in the area do not run at a convenient time to get to an appointment.  A patient may need to have specialist treatment which is many miles away and finds it difficult to get there.  Finding it difficult to travel  to the services because of distance is a geographical barrier.  Some individuals may find that due to their mobility problem they cannot walk a short distance to the health, social care and early years services.  

Cultural and language barriers

  • If the information (signs, leaflets, posters) about  health, social care and early years services is in English only then those with a different first language will not be able to find out about the service.  If the information uses specialist language the individual may not understand it.  They may become anxious or worried about the service.

Resource barrier

  • Sometimes the health, social care and early years services an individual needs to access may not be available due staff shortages  or a lack of money for the service.  If there is a large demand for a service then people may have to wait until there is sufficient money to pay for all those that need the service.  Also, there may be a high demand for vaccination against a disease  and there is not enough vaccine available for all those that need it.  So, people may have to wait until sufficient vaccine has been produced e.g. swine flu vaccine.