A major new study has been carried out by health and care watchdog Healthwatch Isle of Wight to highlight the difficulties faced by deaf/hard of hearing residents using Health and Social Care services on the Isle of Wight.
Communication issues for deaf and hard of hearing residents on the Isle of Wight show a differing picture with some reporting few problems, but others, notably those that are profoundly deaf, reporting some incredible difficulties.
Research by the watchdog has found that the onus is always on the deaf person to remind clinicians that they are deaf as there does not seem to be any standard noting on files of this issue.
The report, which has been released today (Thursday) contains numerous recommendations for the local authority, the Isle of Wight CCG, the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, GP Surgeries and Dental Surgeries to tackle the communication barrier that service users face.
Lesley Holmes, Head of Local Services at charity Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID), said~:
“As the UK’s largest hearing loss charity with a long-standing local presence on the island, we know that many people with hearing loss face frequent communications difficulties in healthcare settings – as a result some avoid going to the doctor all together.
“It’s vital that health and care providers understand how to communicate effectively with people with hearing difficulties and break down the all too common communication barriers. No one should struggle to make a GP or hospital appointment or leave feeling unclear about their diagnosis which is why we’ve worked closely with Healthwatch Isle of Wight to get local feedback about services.
“We are now calling on local service providers and commissioners to ensure proper staff training, technology, and procedures are in place so that people with hearing loss get equal access to health and care services, and can feel confident about the diagnosis, prescription and advice they received.”
To view the report visit www.healthwatchisleofwight.co.uk.
Anyone who wishes to share their experiences (good or bad) of local health and/or care services with Healthwatch Isle of Wight can do so by ringing 01983 608608 or by emailing [email protected].