Enter and view: Deaf Inclusion

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Summary of report content

13 Local Healthwatch across North, Central and East London have been working together on a project to improve deaf inclusion in their work and increase the involvement of London’s deaf community in the improvement of health and social care services in the capital. Healthwatch conducted Enter and View visits looking at deaf access and pathways through 3 London Emergency Departments; Queen’s Hospital Romford, University College London and Newham Hospital. Healthwatch Redbridge acted as the lead Healthwatch for all the visits and as a result, this report is published through them. The summary of findings highlighted areas in relation to patient feedback, staff feedback and observation. In all three hospitals there was a worry over the lack of visual fire/emergency alarm systems; they are looking into this issue more as there may be technical or clinical reasons why Emergency Departments do not have visual alarms. All three hospitals lacked clarity in how to communicate with a deaf patient if referred for a CT or MRI scan. Across all three hospitals there was a lack of consistent understanding of how to access BSL communication support when required and an inappropriate over reliance on friends and family. There was also an over reliance on writing messages, which once past reception is not the best communication method for assessment, diagnosis and communicating medical information. No statistics are kept across the three trusts visited on deaf patients. They were therefore unable to give accurate figures for the number of patients seen. There were 7 recommendations in this report which includes; patient data systems need to be amended to record the number of deaf patients, as well as other equalities monitoring information. Each Emergency Department offers BSL training to frontline reception staff. The pager system should be rolled out across all London Emergency Departments. Communication books be developed and shared by NHS Trusts and be placed on all reception areas for staff. Video interpreting is enabled in Emergency Departments, as the nature of assessment and care could mean waiting for a BSL interpreter impacts directly on patient treatment. A simple step by step guide should be developed for staff at all trusts in how to access communication support. Deaf awareness training is offered to employees and/or an online course on the intranet.

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General details

Report title 
Enter and view: Deaf Inclusion
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Barking And Dagenham
Healthwatch Barnet
Healthwatch Camden
Healthwatch City of London
Healthwatch Enfield
Healthwatch Hackney
Healthwatch Haringey
Healthwatch Havering
Healthwatch Islington
Healthwatch Newham
Healthwatch Tower Hamlets
Healthwatch Waltham Forest
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 6 May, 2015
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 24 April, 2015
Date evidence capture finished 
Sunday, 6 May, 2018
Type of report 
Enter and view
Key themes 
Health and safety
Health inequalities
Health promotion
Public involvement
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Healthwatch Redbridge, Healthwatch Camden, Healthwatch Newham Barnet, Healthwatch City of London, Healthwatch Enfield, Healthwatch Hackney, Healthwatch Haringey, Healthwatch Tower, Healthwatch Hamlets, Healthwatch Havering, Healthwatch Waltham Forest, Healthwatch Islington, Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham
Primary research method used 
Structured interview
How was the information collected? 
Visit to provider
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Social care services 
Nursing care home
Residential care home

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Not known
Age group 
Not known
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? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Service manager
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? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

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.