Do the NHS want to make their service better for Deaf people? Yes, they do. They want their patients to be top priority. And how will they do this? Information will be made more accessible and communication easier.
The NHS have called this new project ‘Making Health and Social Care Information Accessible‘, and at the end of it, a new set of rules will be made called the Information Standard. All health services must follow the rules listed.
Watch the NHS BSL video below
The Information Standard will tell health services (for example hospitals and GPs) how to identify, monitor and provide Deaf people with their preferred method of communication and access to information. This may mean letters will be written in plain English, or face to face communication support using a BSL interpreter or advocate will be given.
The Information Standard will be formally approved. It passed the first stage of approval in June 2013, and the second stage in November 2013, meaning professionals are now thinking how to set up the Standard properly.
In March and June 2014, NHS England are writing the Information Standard specification, explaining what organisations must do to follow the new rules. This will be tested at different times to make sure the rules will work in real-life situations.
We will be back with another update soon.