The new NHS England accessible information standard requires all providers of NHS care and publicly funded adult social care to identify and meet the communication needs of patients and service users who are disabled or have a sensory loss.
That includes presenting information in the right formats, using appropriate contact methods, and providing communication and language professionals. It also aims to raise standards by saying communication and language professionals should be registered with NRCPD.
Jim Edwards, chief executive of Signature, said: “This is excellent news for people who are deaf or have a hearing loss, and a great step forward for public services in the UK.
“Unfortunately, even five years after the Equality Act came into force, too many people still don’t receive good health and social care simply because their communication needs aren’t met. That has led to much poorer health for deaf people, as found recently by SignHealth and laid out in its Sick of It report.
“That’s why Signature has been involved in the Our Health in Your Hands campaign, informing people of their right to an NRCPD registered sign language interpreter. This standard makes that even clearer and we look forward to the changes it will make.”