Our health service is making it difficult for Deaf people to get help.
Potentially life-threatening health conditions are being missed, and poor treatment is offered when a diagnosis is made.
It’s unfair and unjust.
“There is a likelihood of reduced life expectancy in Deaf people.”
Researchers at the University of Bristol in partnership with SignHealth.
Generally speaking, Deaf people are as active as hearing people, eat a similar amount of vegetables, drink less alcohol and smoke far fewer cigarettes.
So, why are they more likely to be overweight, twice as likely to have high blood pressure, and four times as likely to be on the verge of diabetes? Why are so many unknowingly living with health issues which can lead to heart attacks, strokes and other serious conditions?
The answer is lack of information, poor communication, and unnecessary difficulties in getting to the doctor in the first place. All of that is outside the control of Deaf people themselves.
“Missed diagnosis and poor treatment is costing the NHS £30m a year.”
Health Economists at the University of East Anglia, commissioned by SignHealth.
Modern healthcare places great importance on giving people information to allow them make healthy choices. Hearing people are bombarded with advice, but we have found a shocking lack of even basic health information in British Sign Language (BSL).
In this internet enabled world of connectivity, 45% of Deaf people still have to walk into their surgery to make an appointment, because of the lack of other ways to do it.
When sign language users finally get to see their doctor, they’re forced to communicate in ways that cause misunderstandings, confusion, missed diagnosis and poor treatment. 8 in 10 Deaf people want to use sign language, 3 in 10 are given the chance.
Our health system is failing Deaf people. It’s gone on too long and we’re Sick Of It. Solutions are simple, affordable and would save up to £30 million a year. We’ve set them out in our Prescriptions For Change. Please use them.