MORE needs to be done to meet the needs of deaf patients in Worcestershire, says a hearing loss charity.
Action on Hearing Loss is urging GPs and other health and social care practitioners to make sure that the 113,500 county residents who are deaf or have hearing loss receive the right communication support.
The call comes after a review by NHS England was published on Friday, July 21. It found that almost a year since the Accessible Information Standard became law, more than half of patients who responded to a survey have not noticed any improvement in getting accessible information or communication support from NHS services.
The problem I have with statistics is they aren't defined. There is no age grouping, gender grouping, how many have aids, how many use sign language, how many are truly deaf etc. Even the census never asked the right questions, until they do there is no way to focus on needs because you cannot identify them. You aren't identifying those who need help or have asked for it.
The end result is various vested interest areas seize on the 'deaf' term, capitalise the term, and then apply it globally, it is why AOHL and other charities like them have lost the awareness high ground, and some charities folding or having to amalgamate to stay extant. Groups concerned with hearing loss need to clarify, even to adopt HoH specialisation, until they do, those who AREN'T profound deaf and do not sign, will be ignored. The usage of the term deaf by a dedicated HoH charity also shows they know they have lost the awareness high ground, but instead of challenging perceptions they play into the hype in the forelorn hope they can gain some as a result, utilising 'Deaf' hype to gain HoH awareness, sadly, they believe this will work too..
We can read anywhere millions have hearing loss, we can also read being deaf is the only 'real' way to get the awareness message across. By that time HoH have disappeared and been replaced by other, and deaf areas. If the continual approach is hearing aids, ear wax, and clinical research then we are being turned away from real awareness. This takes away focus from grass roots. More an advert for clinical research than about us.
Charities need to start talking about people, NOT things, or celebs with a hard of hearing granny, or hearing people walking the china wall, and promoting 'help' and 'support', these are all negatives regarding hearing loss, and the reduction in membership of charities should be telling them something too, but isn' in the AOHL's case, it is simply a game of 'last man standing'. Strongest charity wins.
As regards to NHS access, it is dire or non extant in most part, so this is another 'survey' telling us what we already have known for 60 years. The article starts with 'meeting the needs of deaf patients', HoH awareness blown on the first line of the article.