Communicating with the NHS – any progress?

Copyright: mybaitshop / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: mybaitshop / 123RF Stock Photo

Audience participation time – that is, if you live in England.  A while ago I wrote about a new piece of legislation applying to the NHS in England (and indeed care homes, although I am concentrating on the NHS today).  A new Accessible Information Standard means that, since 31 July, all parts of the NHS have been obliged to ask all new and existing patients whether or not they have any communication difficulties – caused by hearing loss for example. Ta da! What an excellent thing! Visibility!

If you have, the health provider is meant to record the problem, and, in future, provide the help that you need to access the service.  Ta Da!  Another excellent thing!  Action! Continue reading

Please don’t gesture at me

Copyright: leolintang / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: leolintang / 123RF Stock Photo

I’m steeling myself for an outbreak of inappropriate hand gestures and speaking very s-l-o-w-l-y in the NHS.  I wrote in another post about how the staff at my local hospital some years ago all seemed to have been sent on a very bad deaf awareness course, resulting in them accompanying their speech with (for me) quite superfluous “thumbs up” signals, pointing and grinning.  Thankfully, it died out (or the staff had better training).  But I quaked as I read this week about very laudable new legislation, about which more in a minute, because there it was again.  “Use gestures and facial expressions to support what you are saying.”  “Speak a little slower than you would do usually.”  Aagh………. Continue reading