Deaf people & the Accessible Information Standard

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Wokingham Borough produced a report on deaf people and the Accessible Information Standard, looking at how well local organisations are doing in adhering to the rules introduced in August 2016. Deaf Positives Action, a local organisation working with Deaf people in Wokingham, conducted work using a Community Research Fund award from Healthwatch Wokingham Borough to look into deaf people's experiences of accessibility compared to the standard. Research methods included a mystery shopping exercise covering 34 NHS and social care services in Wokingham, a survey of 16 local Deaf people and a focus group of Deaf service users. The findings showed that the extent to which local health and care organisations are complying with the Accessible Information Standard in relation to Deaf people is significantly limited. The mystery shopping exercise revealed four key deficiencies: i) Most organisations offered no communication support (e.g. interpreter provision) for care appointments. ii) Many organisations and/or members of their staff showed poor awareness about communication support and their responsibilities under the AIS. iii) None of the organisations used BSL (British Sign Language) to communicate on their websites or TV screens - there was no 'in-vision' signing. iv) More/better visual information was needed (e.g. signs, subtitles and alerts) for Deaf and hard of hearing people at local health and care venues. The report contains a number of recommendations, including: - That staff at all levels across all NHS and adult social care providers receive deaf awareness training - That organisations adopt for recording people's communication requirements on their file/patient notes - That they also red-flag the records of children whose Deaf parents/carers require communication support at the child's appointments - That organisations book an appropriate language service professional (LSP) to provide communication support for Deaf people at appointments.

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General details

Report title 
Deaf people & the Accessible Information Standard
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Wokingham
Date of publication 
Saturday, 4 August, 2018
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 1 December, 2017
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Information providing
Patient records
Quality of appointment
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes
Staff training
Other information of note about this report 
Case Study
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Not known
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Deaf Positives Action
Primary research method used 
Focus group
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Dentist (non-hospital)
GP practice
Optometry services
Social care services 
Adult social care
Urgent and emergency care services 
Urgent care services

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Types of long term conditions 
Deafness or severe hearing impairment
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people 18 and over
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Not known
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
All care professionals
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Not known
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.