How local Healthwatch are making Deaf people’s voices heard

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There’s a local Healthwatch in every area of England. They exist to find out what people want from local health and social care services, to listen to the public’s concerns, and to call for change where it’s needed. In order to do this, its vital local Healthwatch work in an accessible way so that they can reach all parts of the community. Here are just some of the ways the network is ensuring Deaf people’s voices are heard.

• Training: For staff in Deaf Equality and Deaf Awareness, and for Deaf people in how to carry out visits to health and social care services as part of the Healthwatch team.

• Accessible meetings: With full access for Deaf BSL users so that they can raise and discuss health and care issues that affect them.

• Inclusion: Recruiting Deaf people to ensure the community is represented throughout Healthwatch work.

• Holding to account: Checking that health and care services meet the requirements of the Accessible Information Standard and advising where changes are needed.

Find out more about how local Healthwatch have worked to improve health and care services for Deaf people: Improving GP services for Deaf patients and Improving access to health services for the deaf community.

Get in touch with your local Healthwatch.

Healthwatch England is the national consumer champion in health and care. We 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.