Patient experience - interpreter services for deaf patients

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Summary of report content

In late March 2018 Healthwatch Plymouth received feedback from Healthwatch colleagues in Devon about lack of availability of a British Sign Language/English (BSL) interpreter for a surgical procedure at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth. The following week, Healthwatch Plymouth held an engagement event at Lisson Grove GP Surgery where we took feedback from a Deaf gentleman via his BSL/English interpreter about experiences his Deaf sister had accessing an interpreter as an inpatient at Derriford Hospital and subsequent reablement stay in a care home setting. Subsequently since this initial information, Healthwatch Plymouth have received considerable further feedback from other service users around availability of BSL/English Interpreters for appointments both in Primary and Secondary Care. This feedback has been obtained via face to face engagement, email, other organisations (Deaf Organisation based in Essex and Deaf Community in Devon) as well as discussions with several BSL/English Interpreters based in Devon and Cornwall. The report reviews the themes in relation to British Sign Language, access, relationship between service users and interpreter and technology used.

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General details

Report title 
Patient experience - interpreter services for deaf patients
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Plymouth
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 1 August, 2018
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 August, 2018
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 1 August, 2018
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Information providing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
User stories
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 
GP practice
Urgent care services
Secondary care services 
Acute services with overnight beds
Acute services without overnight beds / listed acute services with or without overnight beds
Accident & emergency

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.