Charity Action on Hearing Loss is welcoming the launch of the Accessible Information Standard, which comes into full force today (August 1).
The Accessible Information Standard requires all providers of NHS care and publicly funded adult social care to meet the communication and information needs of people with disabilities and sensory loss, including the one in six people living with a hearing loss.
The charity’s Access All Areas research found that most people with hearing loss surveyed were forced to struggle with the phone or go in person to book appointments for lack of other options such as online booking. One in seven had missed an appointment because they hadn’t heard their name called out in the waiting room. Furthermore, more than a quarter had said they didn’t understand their diagnosis after seeing their GP, and two thirds of those needing a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter didn't get one.
NHS England estimates that missed appointments for people with all levels of hearing loss costs the NHS at least £14 million every year.
Paul Breckell, Chief Executive at Action on Hearing Loss, said:
This is a welcome step forward for people who are deaf or have a hearing loss. We hope that health and social care professionals will see that far from being a box-ticking exercise, this is a real opportunity to provide better care and better outcomes for patients who have previously faced barriers when accessing health and social care