Whats On
GDA speaks to Radio Gloucestershire

GDA spoke to BBC Radio Gloucestershire about the new NHS 'Accessible Information Standard'
GDA's Chief Executive, Jenny Hopkins spoke to reporter Sangita Lal about how the new NHS regulations will benefit deaf people in the county, by making health care more accessible.
You can read the full interview here or listen online by clicking here (1:43mins into the programme)

Mark Cummings (MC) “Properly qualified interpreters, extra help if you lip-read and more braille – three things Gloucestershire’s hospitals and GP surgeries will have to introduce under new regulations. It comes after research from the national charity SignHealth suggested that the lives of deaf people are being shortened due because poor access to health care. Gloucestershire Deaf Association says this is a massive breakthrough for the deaf community and Sangita Lal has been finding out more…”

Mike Sadler (MS) through qualified BSL interpreter, James Banks “In 1999 I had a mild heart attack, in 2011 I had another mild heart attack. At the end of 2011 I had a stroke and in March 2012 I found out I had a tumour in my stomach.

Sangita Lal (SL) “Mike Sadler is 67 and from Gloucester. He was born deaf and has been deaf all hs life. Like many deaf people it’s affected his speech patterns and he’s reliant on a British Sign Language interpreter. James Banks is speaking for him. But how does he cope trying to get medical advice?”

MS “The problem I have is with GP’s so when I book a doctor I ask for a sign language interpreter to come. When they book the interpreter they should let me know by sending me a text message but unfortunately I don’t receive anything, so I have to go to the doctors myself and ask them “have you booked me an interpreter”. They say “yes we have”, so I feel I’ve had to go all the way to the doctors when they could have sent me a text message”

SL “It’s experiences like this that the new regulations called the ‘Accessible Information Standard’ will aim to improve. Jenny Hopkins is Chief Executive of Gloucestershire Deaf Association, the charity supports deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing people in the county.

Jenny Hopkins (JH) “We on a day-to-day basis understand the difficulties and challenges deaf sign language users face. Everything from booking an interpreter; where a hearing person would just ask for a doctor’s appointment, that’s not possible for a person who can’t use a voice telephone. For people who are deaf, they will have to actually walk into a doctor’s surgery to make an appointment which if you’re not feeling very well, or dare I say it’s an emergency at home that’s going to put you in a fairly challenging situation.”

MC “Really interesting there. The suggestion of the study saying that “the lives of deaf people are being shortened due to poor access to health care. In the next hour, we’ll be speaking to Gloucestershire Hospitals Trust. NHS England says “We are committed to providing equitable, effective health care services that are responsive to the needs of all health care patients. So we’ll see what’s happening in Gloucestershire to make sure people who are deaf are catered for. 

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