The SCoR has teamed up with charity Action on Hearing Loss, which helps the 11 million people in the UK suffering from deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss.
Formerly the Royal National Institute for Deaf People, AHL has e-learning courses and online resources which can help your trust, board or department provide the most accessible and best quality care for people with hearing impairments.
Lynda Johnson, the Society’s professional officer for clinical imaging, explained the challenges: “It is estimated that by 2035 a fifth of the UK population will experience hearing loss.
“Deaf adults have a higher risk for health conditions like heart disease, raised blood pressure and diabetes. This is associated with difficulty getting to the doctor and communication problems during consultations. The results of which may be missed diagnoses or poor treatment.
“Some of the causes have been identified and include lack of available interpreters for patients who use sign language, inadequate procedures during the appointment process and lack of sign language versions of health information.”
Lynda continued: “As healthcare professionals and organisations providing healthcare we have a duty to ensure the safe and effective delivery of our services to everyone.
“It is our responsibility to be informed and proactive in supporting colleagues, patients and the public with hearing loss and tinnitus.
“We must take action to ensure that we do not disadvantage anyone when communicating verbally, and we should be able to recognise when we need to provide further support.”
An example of making a practical change to the imaging environment is being able to dim the CT scan room lights from the control room to signal to a patient when a breath hold is required instead of an audible instruction.
If your organisation has made changes to the physical environment to help accommodate people with deafness or a hearing impairment, or if you would like to share comments or ideas, please contact Lynda.
Richard Evans, Society CEO added, “I am sure it will be useful to our members to receive information that will help understand and overcome problems experienced by hearing-impaired service users.”
Action on Hearing Loss provides in-house and online training courses which can give you and your colleagues the expertise to provide the best possible experience for patients with deafness or hearing impairments.
Their ‘Get Deaf Aware’ e-learning course, supported by Signature, can be completed in just an hour, giving staff improved awareness and communication skills that make a real difference to people with hearing loss.
The course is simple to access and follow and can be completed in the user’s own time.
Topics covered include:
AHL also provides other access solutions including:
Click here for more information.