NEARLY 70 per cent of people with a disability in York have experienced discrimination, a Healthwatch York investigation has found.

Of the respondents to the investigation, 68.2 per cent had experienced discrimination when accessing or trying to access at least one service in York.

People have struggled when trying to access their doctor's surgery and public transport, particularly buses.

Many also said they had faced negative comments from members of the public.

A series of recommendations have been made to services in the city following the investigation.

Emma Hersey, the author of the report, wrote: "At present in York disabled people face discriminatory attitudes from a wide range of sources. This is not acceptable.

"Disabled people deserve to be treated equally. We believe it is in service providers and the general public's interest to change their attitudes towards disabled people. Not only because disabled people deserve a better quality of life but because disability affects everyone."

Disabled people using wheelchairs and their carers reported how they could sometimes not use buses as the designated space was filled with pushchairs which could be folded down and some commented that bus drivers seemed "put out" if they had to lower ramps. A few people said they had fallen over as drivers pulled away before they were seated.

There are also accessibility problems for disabled people in York with limited disabled parking in the city centre and the closing of Davygate to cars.

Worryingly, some people reported individuals banging on their windows and doors at night, making them feel threatened.

The views of mental health patients were also included, with one incident reading: "One individual told us how when visiting a chemists a member of staff wouldn't give them their prescription because they are a mental health service user - the staff member could tell from the medication. The staff member said to the service user, 'I don't want you coming in here'.

"Negative attitudes like this are extremely concerning particularly in light of the current push to get the general public to use pharmacies more as an alternative to GP and hospital services."

York Hospital's A&E department can also be a very difficult experience for disabled people who do not like to be in noisy places to cope with, respondents said.

However, positives were reported, with organisations such as City Screen and Cafe Nero singled out as being considerate.

Some 167 people responded to the Healthwatch report giving feedback via a survey and in meetings.

The report has been sent to City of York Council, North Yorkshire Police, NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group, York Hospital, NHS England and Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust among others.