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      Good Practice? Wales

      Updated 20 Mar 2018
      On the record
      View this page in Welsh

      In this report we present the findings of our survey exploring the experiences of people who are deaf or have hearing loss, when accessing GP surgeries.

      Download publication (PDF, 342.5KB)

      575,500 people are deaf or have hearing loss in Wales – that’s equivalent to the populations of Cardiff and Swansea combined.


      In 2013, the Welsh Government launched the All Wales Standards for Accessible Communication and Information for People with Sensory Loss (The Standards), clearly laying out how NHS services would be delivered accessibly to people who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, partially sighted or have dual sensory loss.

      Since then, we’ve undoubtedly seen some progress. In late 2017, the Sensory Loss Information Standard was introduced, meaning that all GP surgeries in Wales now have the technology to record the communication needs of patients with sensory loss – and their requirements.

      But four years since The Standards were introduced, we’ve discovered there’s a long way to go before patients get the increased accessibility they were promised. Our survey found that, in Wales:

      • More than half (54%) of people still leave their GP surgery unclear about their diagnosis or how to take their medication.
      • Almost half (42%) of Deaf BSL users say communication at their appointments isn’t adequate because they don’t have an interpreter.
      • More than a third (36%) of survey respondents have to travel to their GP surgery to book an appointment in person, as they can’t use the phone
      • More than a quarter (29%) of people surveyed said that they have to ask a family member, friend or support worker to call their GP surgery on their behalf.

      That's why we’re calling on GP surgeries, NHS Wales, local health boards and the Welsh Government to work together to make sure the requirements of the Standards are properly implemented and enforced.


      We all want to support GP surgeries to improve their practice, so we’ve produced a simple tool to help you tell yours what’s not right, the impact that has, and the simple changes you’d like to see.


      click here to create a letter to send to your GP

      If, after giving feedback to your GP surgery, you’re still not getting the accessibility you’re entitled to, you can complain to your local health board using the relevant details below.


      Health board Email Postal address Twitter  Facebook
      Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board Chief Executive
      Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board
      1 Talbot Gateway
      Baglan Energy Park
      Port Talbot
      SA12 7BR
      @ABMhealth @ABM.Healthboard
      Aneurin Bevan Health Board Chief Executive
      Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
      St Cadoc’s Hospital
      Lodge Road
      NP18 3XQ
      @AneurinBevanUHB  @AneurinBevanHealthBoard
      Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board The Concerns Team
      Ysbyty Gwynedd
      LL57 2PW
      Cardiff and Vale University Health Board Chief Executive, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board Headquarters
      University Hospital of Wales (UHW)
      Heath Park
      CF14 4XW
      Cwm Taf Health Board Chief Executive
      Cwm Taf Health Board
      Ynysmeurig House
      Navigation Park
      CF45 4SN
      @CwmTaf @cwmtaf
      Hywel Dda Health Board Freepost RTJR-ZKJG-JZTC
      Patient Support Services
      Hywel Dda University Health Board
      Fishguard Road
      SA61 2PZ
       @HywelDdaHB @HywelDdaHealthBoard
      Powys Teaching Health Board Chief Executive
      Powys Teaching Health Board
      Glasbury House
      Bronllys Hospital
      LD3 0LS


      Find out more

      Download publication (PDF, 342.5KB)
      View this page in Welsh

      Heather Patterson is a Deaf sign language user from Cardiff. Watch her story…