by Paul Welsh,
Director of Communications
The Sick Of It report is a year old this week.
What a year it has been.
We’re proud of the way the report has been received, and the way it has been widely used to try to make healthcare for Deaf people better.
When we published the results of our research it showed that Deaf people were being failed by the health service, and were more likely than hearing people to be suffering from potentially life-threatening illnesses.
Poor communications, difficulties getting to see the doctor, and a lack of health advice were all to blame.
A year on it isn’t suddenly all better, but there are signs that things are starting to improve.
the beginning of change
Some health professionals are realising that the service they are offering is not good enough. The government are realising that change is needed. The NHS is setting new standards.
People are taking notice of the evidence, and of the injustice. The progress is exciting, but the changes are still only improving services for a small number of Deaf people. We have much more work to do before the health service is changed for the better, and for ever.
In a few months the new Accessible Information Standard for the NHS will be published. It will tell medical professionals that they need to do a much better job of communicating with Deaf people, and that they need to make sure information is presented in a way that Deaf people can understand it and use it.
We will be working to make sure that Deaf people and doctors know what the standard means for them.
There’s still a lot of work to do to end inequality, but there’s hope in the air.