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Found 15 results
  1. News Article
    The charity SignHealth has been awarded a national contract with NHS England to supply the mental health service Talking Therapies in British Sign Language. The new specialist service will help to support deaf people who are experiencing anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. This marks the first time NHS England have granted a national contract to a deaf specialist service and will hope to bridge the gap and tackle the health inequalities recognised after a recent freedom of information (FOI) request found that around 100 NHS trusts do not comply with accessible information standards (AIS). Prior to the contract, deaf people experiencing mental health related issues would have to rely on funding from their Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to approve additional communication assistance on an individual basis. Waiting for approval of the funding for British Sign Language (BSL) therapy services meant that many deaf patients were having to wait considerably longer than their able hearing counterparts. Many CCGs do not grant additional funding and would not offer these kinds of services to deaf people, often resulting in ‘postcode lottery’. Dr Sarah Powell, Clinical Lead at SignHealth, said: "Deaf people are twice as likely to experience mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety compared to hearing people. This is a serious and sometimes life-threatening health inequality. Therapy delivered in sign language has been proven to have higher recovery rates and we are delighted that this contract removes the funding barrier so that more Deaf people are able to access life-changing treatment." Read full story Source: NHE, 9 March 2022
  2. News Article
    Coleen McSorley, who has been deaf from birth, was left upset and struggling to understand the details of her cancer diagnosis. Now one care centre is hoping to offer more support to others facing a similar challenge. Coleen was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2020. At the time, Covid restrictions meant she was unable to bring an interpreter or her hearing parents to hospital appointments. The 56-year-old said she was given wads of literature about her cancer - but like many people who have been deaf from birth, she struggles to read. "English is my second language after British Sign Language," said the cleaner, from Stirling. "At the hospital a big barrier was they were wearing too many masks. They were all talking at me but I didn't understand what they were saying, it was horrendous. "I felt frustrated because I wanted them to pull down their masks so I could try to lip read a little bit, but they wouldn't and it was very confusing." Coleen, who had stage three cancer, was treated with chemotherapy and had a mastectomy, found a local Maggie centre who supported her. Yvonne McIntosh, an oncology nurse and centre head at the Maggie's Forth Valley cancer care drop-in centre, says that even with an interpreter, a lot of information could be lost in translation. "A lot of sense and meaning is lost and things can land differently so they don't come across with the same context," she said. "When Coleen came to us she didn't know what the pills were that she was taking. "She didn't understand about her treatment and didn't know how her medication worked for her." Read full story Source: BBC News, 4 February 2022
  3. News Article
    The National Deaf Children’s Society has written to every NHS trust in England urging them to start using transparent face masks because standard ones create a “serious communication barrier” for deaf patients. The letters, co-signed by the British Academy of Audiology, said deaf patients could “miss vital information about their health” as opaque masks make lip reading impossible and facial expressions difficult to read. It is likely that face masks will remain widespread in the NHS, as new guidance issued at the start of June states they will still be required in a number of settings, including cancer wards and critical care units, and staff may wear them in other areas depending on personal preference and local risk assessments. Susan Daniels, the chief executive of the National Deaf Children’s Society, said: “Transparent face masks are fully approved and they could transform the healthcare experience for deaf people. However they communicate, almost all deaf people rely on lip reading and facial expressions. Opaque face masks make these techniques much more difficult and this could seriously affect communication at a time when they might need it the most.” Three types of transparent masks, designed not to fog up, are now approved for use as PPE in healthcare settings, and although they are not currently available on the NHS supply chain, they can be bought direct from suppliers. The government previously delivered 250,000 clear masks to frontline NHS and social care workers in September 2020. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 15 June 2022
  4. Content Article
    The 'Your Care, Your Way' campaign webpage features: Opportunities to share positive and negative experiences of care Information on rights under the Accessible Information Standard Stories from 6,200 people about their experiences of healthcare information Healthwatch's findings around whether NHS organisations are meeting the Accessible Information Standard Recommendations on how to fix the issues.
  5. News Article
    Deaf people are twice as likely to suffer mental health problems than those with hearing, a report has found. The All Wales Deaf Mental Health and Wellbeing Group said help in Wales was behind the rest of the UK and it wants to see significant improvements. It also described the inequalities faced by deaf people trying to access mental health support as "really frustrating". The Welsh government said it would consider the findings of the report. Ffion Griffiths, 23, from Neath, has been deaf since birth, and accessing child and adolescent mental health services in Wales has been a problem over the years. She had to travel to England to get the support she needed. "It's really frustrating because deaf people in England have more opportunities," she said. It means they can be treated and get better quicker but for us, how can we do that?" "How can we expect to recover if we don't have access to the services or any pathways for us to follow to get the treatment that we need in Wales?" Read full story Source: BBC News, 8 December 2021
  6. News Article
    Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS FT has launched a deaf digital inclusion project, to find the best practice for communicating with deaf and deafblind patients. The project will look at the barriers faced by the patients around digital communications, and how to help the staff become more deaf aware. The deaf and deafblind patients supported by the trust, their carers, staff, and members of deaf wellbeing groups and networks, are taking part in the project to help provide the best digital communications support to meet deaf patients’ needs. The project is led by the trust’s deaf services team which provides a range of support to deaf and deafblind people aged 18 and over, who mainly use British Sign Language (BSL) to communicate, who also have mental health problems. Emmanuel Chan, Clinical Nurse Specialist for the deaf services team, :explained: “People who are oral and require lip reading can find video appointments a challenge if others on the call are not fully deaf aware and talk over one another. Alongside our project, our team aims to help our staff become more deaf aware to avoid this happening.” Read full story Source: NHE, 26 April 2021
  7. News Article
    A woman is taking legal action against an NHS trust over the “diabolical” and discriminatory treatment of her profoundly deaf husband, who died of cancer in May last year. Susan Kelly, who is also deaf, is angry that her husband, Ronnie, was at no point during two hospital admissions and an outpatient appointment provided with a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter. Instead, her hearing daughter, Annie Hadfield, was asked to translate his terminal diagnosis, when he was told to “get his affairs in order” and given between two weeks and two months to live, while his wife was left outside the room. He died just over two weeks later at home. Medical staff at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS trust also placed a “do not resuscitate” (DNR) order on Kelly, who had Alzheimer’s disease, during his first hospital admission in late April without either his consent or consulting his wife or daughter. His family found out only after their barrister obtained his hospital notes. Susan Kelly told the Observer through an interpreter: “I didn’t know what DNR meant. I had no idea. I was really shocked. They’d never asked me anything about it. That wasn’t right, it was wrong. Ronnie wouldn’t have known what it meant.” Annie Hadfield added: “I thought it was actually quite diabolical.” The trust is undertaking a review to understand what happened. David Hughes, medical director, said: “We do acknowledge that we have more to do to support patients and relatives who have hearing impairments and it is an area of work we are actively looking at to make improvements.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 7 March 2021