We are having to point out that NHS England are not following the obligations set out in their own Accessibility Standard. In July NHSE released an important report with many key recommendations. It is the result of a “rapid” (8 week) review of commissioning arrangements of BSL services in the NHS. BSL communication difficulties are likely to be the most difficult and per head the costliest to resolve. We need to consider it in the detail needed. We are seeking to assist and promote implementation of this report. We plan to invite stakeholders to one or more focus group meetings and will be reviewing the recommendations with members of the BSL community. This is a promising first step and comes after many years of reports and pressure for improvements from the deaf community. For more information on NHS BSL commissioning
However, the recommendations do not relate to the much larger number of people with a hearing loss who are not BSL users and are also experiencing problems communicating with medical professionals or NHS admin. staff. If improvements can be made for BSL users, We believe the next step will be to consider considering how the underlying problems this report tries to resolve for BSL users can be overcome using a similar approach for non-BSL using deaf people We believe there are straightforward improvements the NHS could make spreading best practice that exists in the NHS but is currently not in wide use and we are pursuing these ideas with NHS England.