The charity Action on Hearing Loss is calling on the 104,000 people living in Cumbria with deafness or hearing loss to provide feedback on how well GPs and other NHS services communicate with them since NHS England’s Accessible Information Standard was launched early this year.
The Standard, which came into full force on 1 August, requires all NHS and adult social care providers to meet the communication and information needs of people with a sensory loss, impairment or a disability, including the one in six living with a hearing loss.
The charity, which was heavily involved in the development of the Standard, wants real feedback from people who are deaf or have hearing loss to include in its submission of evidence to NHS England’s planned review of the Standard early next year.
Roger Wicks, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Action on Hearing Loss, said: “For the first time all NHS and adult social care services must take note of, and meet, the communication needs of all of its patients. The Standard is a hugely welcome step forward for the 104,000 people in Cumbria who are deaf or have a hearing loss, and we need your help to make sure this is happening where you live.
The charity’s Access All Areas research report found that most people with hearing loss surveyed were forced to struggle on the phone to book appointments, one in seven missed appointments when they hadn’t heard their name called, and one quarter didn’t understand their diagnosis after seeing a GP.
If you are deaf or have a hearing loss and would like to offer feedback on the way your GP or other NHS services communicate with you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact its Information Line on telephone 0808 808 0123, textphone 0808 808 9000 or send a text message to 0780 000 0360.
Action on Hearing Loss has also produced resources to help people explain to their GP what support they need. To download the resources and to find about more about whatthe Accessible Information Standard means for people who are deaf or have hearing loss, please visit: www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/ontherecord.