Patients with hearing difficulties
- The British Sign Language website can be used to assist with communicating with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing. There is also a “signBSL” app available on the Apple App Store.
- Patients must be asked if they would like a professional communications professional to attend their appointments and it must be recorded in the patient record if this is declined.
- A British Sign Language Interpreter can be booked for patient consultations through Action on Hearing Loss (actiononhearingloss.org.uk) on 08456858000.
All patients with a learning disability should be added to the Learning Disabilities Register. This means that they will be called for an annual health check. This is an opportunity to record and update any communication needs they have.
Easy read leaflets can be accessed from:
- easyhealth.org.uk – collection of health leaflets from a variety of sources all in Easy Read format.
- Change – a human rights organisation run by disabled people looking to build a society where people with learning disabilities are treated equally. changepeople.org
Most NHS organisations also provide their own specific health information in Easy Read format.
It’s important to identify to what level the visual impairment affects the patient. Many visually impaired people now have screen reader technology in their homes to enable them to read email or web based content.
Large Print – many patients may simply benefit from information being provided in large print – usually font size 16, or 18. This is simply a case of changing the size when we provide a letter or print a leaflet. The photocopier can also be utilised to enlarge documentation.
The Royal National Institution for the Blind can provide a transcription service https://www.rnib.org.uk/rnib-business/transcription-services
The RNIB also provides more information for GPs regarding the accessible information standard. This can be found at https://www.rnib.org.uk/new-nhs-standard-your-blind-and-partially-sighted-patients