Action plan will increase awareness of deafness

Signature has welcomed the action plan on hearing loss as a step forward in awareness of deafness in health and social care.

In the process of promoting prevention, encouraging early diagnosis and improving how services are delivered, the plan will educate more people about hearing loss and the impact it has on communication.

Jim Edwards, chief executive of Signature, said: “Whilst you might expect health and social care organisations to be highly deaf aware, unfortunately the reality often falls short.

“We are often told of GPs, audiologists and others having no understanding of the impact of deafness on a day to day basis. That means they don’t know what they need to do to facilitate communication.

“We are therefore pleased with the plan’s focus on improving communication. The process of redesigning public services and spaces, and providing better communication support and understanding in the workplace, will increase awareness of deafness and its impacts.”

Signature is a member of the Hearing Loss and Deafness Alliance, which was central to developing the plan that has been published by NHS England and the Department for Health. It was shaped by deaf people, the organisations that work with and for them, Public Health England, other government departments and businesses.

It will help commissioners, Clinical Commissioning Groups, GPs and healthcare providers reduce the negative impacts of hearing loss by promoting prevention, encouraging early diagnosis and improving how services are delivered. 

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