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Wednesday, 10th of November, BBC2, 13.00 - NHS Special

Sophia Wollschlager | 12:39 UK time, Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Here is your chance to get a sneak preview of next week's NHS special to be aired on Wednesday, 10th of November on BBC2 at 13.00.

See Hear investigates what provision the NHS has in place for dealing with the UK’s Deaf population. As the world’s largest publicly funded health organisation does the deaf community have access to the same services as its hearing peers? Clive Mason takes an in-depth look at Deaf people’s experiences, good and bad, and finds out what the future holds.  


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And if you would like further information on health related services for all deaf people, please follow the link below :



  • Comment number 1.

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  • Comment number 6.

    The last edition of which I have only just caught up with, was excellent! Over the years I have had numerous problems making a simple appointment with my GP or at the hospital. Most recently I asked for a ENT referral and was sent a letter asking me to phone them up to make an appointment. Naturally, I complained officially and pointed out that they must follow the Disability Equality Duty in that all services for their clients must be accessible. So far I have managed to get an email contact address but they do not publish any email, nor fax nor TextPhone numbers. We as Deaf who do not use sign language are totally off the radar.

    Without picking a fight with my GP practice I have made numerous complaints about the communication problems from making an appointment through to actually getting into see the doc. The announce it over a speaker so I am sitting there like some twit....

    We have a long way to go in the country and as the commentator who runs the SignTranslate service said we should be more active and sue somebody. There are laws now and I hope we as a group can get some action and poke some with a stick to wake them up to our needs and their responsibilities.

  • Comment number 7.

    My GP is pants too, he's impossible to lip-read and mumbles all the time, even when we took our OWN support with us she couldn't understand half of what he said ! In the end as my partner required monitoring of her diabetic condition we asked to be referred to a central clinic NOT the surgery one, purely on the basis as it was attached to the hospital we could get support without issue. Now we only ever use our GP for signing prescriptions, nothing else. We've tried using A&E services recently and found it impossible to get support after 5pm or any weekend. No wonder deaf are getting ill and less treatment than hearing. You'd get more help in the 3rd world asia really. It is said 80% of GP's refuse outright to provide signed or lip-speaking report, and even fund relay services because they claim they would only be used by a few deaf people a year so couldn't be justified. As far as appointments go, GP's are downgrading regular check ups for the deaf to avoid expenses and time, so instead of say a once a month check up or 3 monthly check up of your condition, it's once every 6 months or even a year. Localised nursing services wrote and told me they can't attend deaf people, unless they are prepared to supply their own support, they get no funding to pay for it. What we have to do is write things down when they come. Now they say the credit crunch means WE, have to go to them.

  • Comment number 8.

    My GP is swful. The whole place is awful, problem starts before I even make appointment. This how it like trying to see GP at my area:

    If I want make appointment, I have to do it by phone, there no SMS or email. So I can't book without mum doing it for me.

    When I get there, sit down and wait, they would never come to me let me know, there only speaker. So I cannot go without mum.

    When I get into my GP room, my GP never read what I say, my GP always rely on mum to tell him what problem etc, even if my GP write things down, I can't read his writing and when I can I can't understand it anyway. So that means mum got to be there again.

    So very annoying. I only go to GP if I really really really need to, otherwise I just deal with it best I can and hope get better on my own.

  • Comment number 9.

    Hi, my name is Julie Berrisford and I am a nurse. I found the programme on the 10th November regarding the NHS extremely interesting. I myself have deaf parents and have interpreted for them on many occasions when visiting the GP and Hospital, from the age of about 10. I found this very difficult as I do not have the interpreting skills required to relay information as I get it, to my parents. Furthermore, they were asking me to ask personal questions to my parents as well as give them information to make inform descsions on procedures and interventions, when I myself did not understand. The real obstical came when I was around 16 and was diganosed with Hodgeskin Lymphoma. The first set of appointments at the hospital before diganoses just consisted of my dad and I, so I was having to take in information myself then relay them to my Dad which was really difficult, and an interpreter was never offered. My Dad recognised this, and arranged interpreters himself for all further appointments which was a great relief.

    Since then I have become a qualified nurse and now have a perspective of the otherside of the story. During my training we learnt how to look after the elderly, those with mental health problems and those who were physically disabled. Not once did we recieve deaf awareness training or at anytime have an insight into deaf culture. I believe that this is the same throughout the country for all professional training.Additionally, as part of my course I did a dissertation on this very subject. I found that there were many deaf/hard of hearing people who had bad experiences but these were never shared or voiced to the hospital/professionals themselves,only to others in the community, therefore they never knew that deaf patients were strugglin, or what they needed.

    Furthermore, now I am 2years post qualification and feel there had been no effort to implement deaf awareness training into PCT's. Some medical professionals have never come across a deaf/hard of hearing person before and therefore dont have the first clue about deaf culture and communication. Due to this Medical professionals seem like the bad guys but without appropriate awareness and training this will never improve.

    I feel that it is a frustration for both professional and patient but without working together to improve the service, professionals will never know and therfore never meet the needs of the deaf community.

    I found this programme very emotive, as I could empathsise for both sides.

    Julie Berrisford

  • Comment number 10.

    I have just watched the programme on the nhs, we are both deaf parents with 2 hearing children and recently we had to take our child in hospital as he was suspected of having an appendix.on arriving at the local childrens hospital there was no support whatsoever however there was support for the immigrants who were there so really the hospital treats us as 2nd class over the immigrants who have never paid any tax whatsoever and still get preferred treatment over us deafies.I had to use my older daughter as an communicater which was immensley difficult and fraught with problems.but it turned out ok for my youngest kid but the experiance has put me off hospitals.. I myself have a problem with my health several times i have cancelled my appointment as my doctor is a from abroad and v difficult to understand and the communication services are always fully booked i find my health now getting a bit worse.. also out audiolgy department now has a foreign doctor and the staff there are not deaf aware they always shout out the names of the persons who are waiting its a very poor service i have complained a few times buy as yet to recieve a reply... TO CAP IT ALL WHY AM I PAYING MY HARD EARNED CASH FROM MY WAGES TO SUPPORT OTHER PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO RIGHT TO TREATMENT WHO NEVER CONTRIBUTED ANYTHIN TOWARDS THE NHS, AND I AM PUSHED ASIDE FOR THEM..


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