Name calling by Paul Leonard

Not blogged in a while – maybe I am becoming more placid, busier (that is true, I have),  finding more “stuff” to occupy my time with – who knows?  What I do know is last week, I was riled with our glorious NHS.  My leg operation got cancelled, again but that is a whole other blog post which I could write when I am in recovery.

For now though, I want to moan about another aspect of the NHS – audiology centres. Following the cancellation of my operation, my wife needed a new tube for her hearing aid because it had broken.  Fair enough, so off we trot to the audiology place – just a small walk away.  In the morning they have a walk in centre, great I thought, no appointment needed.  What I didn’t know until we got there, was the absolute shocking deaf awareness!  This is a place where people go to get aids to assist them to hear.

The receptionist who greets us, exaggerating her lips, “whattt issss yourrr name pleassse”?  Not even a basic BSL greeting with voice, “Your name what?” – NHS, your first fail, please learn basic sign language!

In the waiting room (I should have taken a photo), they have a massive TV which lists patient’s names.  On a piece of paper underneath it says that the screen is only used for appointments and not “walk in” patients – NHS, your second fail.

I find out whilst waiting that in all the times, she’s been to the clinic, not one member of staff has even a tempted a bit of basic BSL with my wife – really?!  I am shocked.  NHS, you suck!

The audiologist comes out and calls out my wife’s name, not particularly loudly either (or maybe I’m gong deaf!?) – So a profoundly deaf person in there, unless they have eyes like a hawk, the second someone comes out would miss their name being called – NHS, you screwed up again!

We go into the room, by which time my blood is boiling and so I feel that I have to bring up all these things.  I bottle it all, apart from the non functioning TV with the lack of names – “well, we use 6 different systems and the TV only works for people with appointments and not walk in patients”.  Fair enough, I calmly explain to her, but why can’t you even write names on a piece of paper like at the airport, “oh I didn’t think that!”.  Really?!

Why don’t the NHS attend basic BSL courses or at least a basic deaf awareness course?!  I know, I am going to Bangladesh to go and work with the locals where only about 2% of the entire population speak English …


… or maybe work at the airport collecting passengers whilst showing their names on a placard!

~ Paul Leonard


One thought on “Name calling by Paul Leonard

  1. I was watching a C4/5 (I KNOW ! crap but my partner seems obsessed with medical TV shows…), on a Balam (?) medical centre and their system of alert at a GP was first class, it has to be said no deaf attended that surgery who needed sign but…..

Comments are closed.