Paul Stemman, SignHealth’s Head of Policy and Campaigns, explains how SignHealth have been working with the NHS.
“We have been working with NHS England again, this time trying to improve access for Deaf people in connection to the ‘Friends and Family Test’.
What is the Friends and Family Test? The NHS want to know what people think of the service they receive, so they are asking patients a standard question.
‘How likely are you to recommend our GP practice to friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment?’
There was a risk that services would not ask Deaf patients for their opinions, but NHS England were keen to make the process as inclusive as possible. Working with other Deaf organisations, SignHealth helped them with their guidance document. We now hope that all Deaf people will be asked for their opinions and get a choice about how they respond – including in BSL.
It will be interesting to see how many parts of the NHS follow the guidance and make the question fully accessible to Deaf people. We will try hard to find out.
At the moment, we are very pleased that the NHS has thought about Deaf people and our suggestions. Their guidance document is possibly the best we’ve seen from NHS England. You can find out more at http://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/pe/fft/fft-guidance/.
Paul Stemman has been working closely with the NHS to improve Deaf access. See what he has been doing by reading about the Information Standard.
Image Credit: Ben K Adam