Sharing some mutual concerns that these days there are quite a few organisations and charities which potentially have good intentions but they are misleading when they can make one think they have power to make a change within the NHS. So please, be aware of those. This gives us another reason why the UK needs an approved governing body for deaf issues.
The ones who can actually make a change would be the Care Quality Commission (CQC) who I recently contacted as they did not provide any videos in British Sign Language (BSL) Eventually they replied with a link to their YouTube channel which was not good enough for the deaf community as the access via their website did not provide this. So once again I contacted them via Twitter…. eventually they provided me with a link much to my delight, now showing equal access to their context just as the other needs were met. Thank you CQC, for adding this format to make your context more accessible for BSL users too.
They the CQC, as a regulator, a major part of their job is to monitor services’ performance against national standards such as:
- treatment, care and support provided by hospitals, GPs dentists, ambulances and mental health services.
- treatment, care and support services for adults in care homes and in people’s own homes (both personal and nursing care).
- services for people whose rights are restricted under the Mental Health Act.
Another service one could choose from is the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombusman whose role is to investigate complaints that individuals have been treated unfairly or have received poor service from government departments and other public organisations and the NHS in England. They too have added a BSL video on their website “make a complaint”.
There is another alternative which is potentially Healthwatch. Who state on their website, are the national consumer champion in health and care. They have significant statutory powers to ensure the voice of the consumer is strengthened and heard by those who commission, deliver and regulate health and care services. Here is their video “What is the Healthwatch Network” which is in BSL and subtitled.
Also there is the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) who commission most of the hospital and community NHS services in the local areas for which they are responsible. Commissioning involves deciding what services are needed, and ensuring that they are provided. CCGs are overseen by NHS England, which retains responsibility for commissioning primary care services such as GP and dental services, as well as some specialised hospital services. All GP practices now belong to a CCG, but groups also include other health professionals, such as nurses. (You will need to find your local CCG to contact them.)
Services CCGs commission include:
- most planned hospital care
- rehabilitative care
- urgent and emergency care (including out-of-hours)
- most community health services
- mental health and learning disability services
Please contact the CQC, Ombusman, Healthwatch, CCG and your country councillors (as one or more is delegated to liase with the NHS) via their website links as provided on this blog to make your complaint and voices “heard” otherwise, how will they know the deaf / hard of hearing community exist? How will they truly make changes to meet our needs for equality and full inclusion? If we cannot share our experiences directly to them and that we too have a voice of our own (which others may be taking advantage of for their own gains).
There are those who do have genuine intentions and want to bridge the communication barriers between both the hearing and deaf worlds – I tip my hat to those but nevertheless, please keep your wits about you and look outside the box, to see which service will and can make a change, for the better. For inclusion and equality within the NHS and government services on an united basis.
Please take a moment to remember those in developing countries especially where there is evidence of corruption, bribery and lack of rights for the residents there. Those who face difficulties and challenges a hundred fold due to their disabilities. I have seen with my own eyes how their governments have neglected them and believe me, some people in this country take for granted just how lucky they are. To have roofs over their heads, warmth, comforts and food. Free NHS and plentiful medicine. I have no issues with those who want to strive and improve on what we already have in a positive sense. Yet we should not rest on our laurels. It is important to keep the people in charge in check otherwise the standards will inevitably drop. Imagine what it would be like, if you could not express yourself via spoken word or sign language, being unable to read or write?
Thank you for your time and patience.
~ SJ (Sara Jae)