London, 21st August 2018 – The Occupational Health and Safety Extra (OHSxtra) website has taken first place in the Sitemorse NHS70 Accessibility Index.
The benchmark review, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the NHS, is the first of its kind and takes a view of digital accessibility compliance across the NHS.
The review covers almost 600 NHS websites and scores and ranks them based on accessibility compliance and performance against WCAG 2.0 A, AA and AAA standards, using over 500 tests, checks and measures*. In total, the review assessed more than 14,000 public pages.
OHSxtra came in first place with 0% of pages assessed on the site failing to reach the WCAG 2.0 AA standard, while only 16.67% failed A and 8.33% failed AAA.
Also in the top five were:
2. North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust
3. Clinical Education Centre
4. NHS Crawley CCG
5. Pay Modernisation
However, many of the 597 sites that were assessed in the review performed poorly.
- 81 failed AA level on over 90% of pages (and 38 on 100% of pages)
- 526 failed A level on over 90% of pages (and 299 on 100% of pages)
- 85 failed AAA ranking on over 90% of pages (and 44 on 100% of pages)
The NHS requires NHS Digital digital applications and services to meet a minimum standard of WCAG 2.0 Level AA. This fact will be underlined when the EU public sector accessibility directive (European standard EN 301 549 V1.1.2 (2015-04)) comes into force this September. The results of the Accessibility Index illustrate that improvements are urgently needed. And given the wide range of stakeholders who are reliant on the NHS’s services (including those using assistive technologies such as screen readers), this is a very high rate of failure.
To get the full Sitemorse NHS70 Accessibility Index results, visit www.sitemorse.com/nhs70.
Note as to compliance requirement
Accessible Information Standard "From 1st August 2016 onwards, all organisations that provide NHS care and/or publicly-funded adult social care are legally required to follow the Accessible Information Standard."
Accessible Information: Specification v.1.1 "The accessibility of health and social care websites is out of scope of the Accessible Information Standard. However, the Standard remains relevant in circumstances where a health or social care professional would usually refer a patient or service user (or their carer or parent) to a website for information."
Accessible Information: Implementation Guidance v1.1 (p78) "Organisations should also refer to accessibility guidance set out in the Government Service Manual and be aware that the minimum standard for NHS Digital digital application or services is Level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0."
Sitemorse (www.sitemorse.com) strives to remove human limitations from accessibility compliance and helps organisations drive improved user experience, ensuring that content is always optimised and compliance requirements are always met. The London-based, privately-owned company has now been leading the field of Digital Governance for over 15 years.
* Our results are from automated testing. Manual testing would also be needed to assess full compliance.