Primary care services are the front door to the NHS – they are the first port of call when we feel unwell and the main coordinator of care when we are living with ill health. The primary care team have an important role in making people feel welcomed, listened to and taken seriously.
At National Voices we often hear stories from groups of people who struggle to have their communication needs met within primary care. As just one example, five years after the launch of the Accessible Information Standard, 67 per cent of Deaf people reported that still no accessible method of contacting their GP has been made available to them (Signhealth, 2022).
This issue also affects other groups with specific communication needs - people who don't speak English fluently, people with learning disabilities, autistic people, people with dementia, people with low or no literacy, people who are digitally excluded, people living nomadically, people experiencing homelessness and more.
We know that these experiences happen within the context of a primary care team under exceptional pressures. This workshop will bring together people with lived experience from all the groups mentioned above, as well as voluntary sector organisations, members of the primary care workforce, primary care policy leads, as well as commissioners and providers to discuss the challenges and co-produce solutions.
At the workshop, we hope to build and improve understanding of:
- The experiences of people with diverse communication needs within primary care.
- The barriers primary care teams experience in meeting diverse communication needs, especially under existing pressures.
- Practical ways that we can embed and improve inclusive communications within the primary care setting.
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