Issues affecting deaf and hard of hearing people in Kirklees as they interact with health services

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Summary of report content

During the summer of 2013 Healthwatch Kirklees picked up a number of concerns from people who are Deaf or hard of hearing in Kirklees that they are having mixed experiences when they access NHS health services. A lot of the time this was reported as being around the lack of BSL interpreters at GP or inconsistencies when people are at the hospital or other NHS appointments. People said there needed to be more awareness raising and understanding from health professionals about the needs of people who are Deaf or hard of hearing. When it comes to using health services, it is important that people with hearing loss have the same opportunities of access as hearing people. This wouldn’t just be a nice thing to happen. Since 2010 it’s a legal requirement for organisations delivering NHS services to make reasonable adjustments to make their services accessible for people who have a disability. And it says they should think ahead and promote how they will make their services accessible – rather than just respond to complaints. Healthwatch Kirklees wanted to have a better understanding the experience (including barriers) of people who are Deaf or hard of hearing when accessing NHS health services in Kirklees. This was to influence local decision makers to challenge discrimination, change attitudes and break down barriers faced by those individuals when using NHS services. Healthwatch Kirklees considers the following recommendations will help organisations delivering NHS services to make reasonable adjustments to make their services accessible for people who have a hearing impairment / disability and so comply with the Equality Act 2010. They will help providers anticipate people’s communications needs and make their services accessible – rather than respond to potential complaints.

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General details

Report title 
Issues affecting deaf and hard of hearing people in Kirklees as they interact with health services
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Kirklees
Date of publication 
Saturday, 1 February, 2014
Date evidence capture began 
Saturday, 1 June, 2013
Date evidence capture finished 
Thursday, 1 August, 2013
Type of report 
Report
Key themes 
Access
Booking appointments
Building and facilities
Interpreters
Public involvement
Healthwatch reference number 
Rep-5929

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
What type of organisation requested the work 
N/A
Primary research method used 
Survey
How was the information collected? 
Survey
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
N/A

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Dentist (non-hospital)
GP practice
Optometry services
Secondary care services 
Acute services with overnight beds
Acute services without overnight beds / listed acute services with or without overnight beds

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
372
Age group 
Not known
Gender 
Not known
Ethnicity 
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
No
Does the information include staff's views? 
No
Does the information include other people's views? 
No
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Mixed

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Yes
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
No
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Yes
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
No
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.