Better communication is the key
Attending hospital can be a nightmare for deaf people. Marie Mangan explains what doctors should be doing to help deaf patients
The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) gathered quite a collection of hospital horror stories from its deaf and hard of hearing members in a recent survey. One in four reported leaving a doctor's appointment without knowing what was wrong with them. One in six admitted that they did not go to the doctor when they were ill because communication was such a problem. More than two thirds thought that hospitals could do better.
Mr and Mrs Bates, both deaf and BSL users, had mixed feelings following a car accident. In emergency situations it is often difficult to get hold of an interpreter; worse still, to cut costs Buckinghamshire health authority had recently axed its only medical sign language interpreter. In the absence of any communication support and growing chaos with police and paramedics shouting at them, their 4 year old daughter, who is hearing, said “My mummy and