This report is a summary of a conference held to discuss the experiences of deaf service users in local hospitals.
The conference concluded the following actions are necessary:
Ensure that as far as possible, staff who are responsible for booking appointments offer choice of interpreter gender to patients (where practicable).
Encourage staff Deaf champions and ensure Deaf awareness training is available to all staff and undertaken by all front-line staff. Ensure that clinical staff are aware of the rights of people using interpreters to keep the interpreter with them during for example under local anaesthetic for a minor surgical procedure.
Ensure that appointment letters for Deaf patients:
o Information on whether an interpreter has been booked
o Email or SMS contact details in case changes to bookings are needed
o Highlight that this service user may need to be seen before others if there are long waits (as interpreters are only available for a booked time)
Encourage pre-theatre meetings at which consultants can consult patient records and assess whether any patients have additional needs and how to manage this.