Discover our position on many aspects of access to health services and social care for people with hearing loss.
Government, the NHS, GPs and other health care services must take action to meet the requirements of equality legislation and standards for accessible information and communication, to ensure people with hearing loss can access health care without barriers.
This report examines the experiences of people with hearing loss and deafness when accessing primary healthcare services in Northern Ireland.
More adults could benefit from cochlear implantation. This statement makes recommendations for how this can be achieved, including calling on NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) to review and update its guidance, better public awareness and improved referral rates from audiology.
For many people with hearing loss, lipreading is a vital communication skill. Most people learn to lipread by attending classes, which also provide useful information and support. We want to see lipreading support more widely available and recognised as an essential part of rehabilitation.
People with hearing loss have access to different levels and types of social services provision, depending on where they live, which can make it difficult for people to move. We support reforms to the rules that would help people live in their preferred locality and living arrangement.
Social care can help people who are deaf or have hearing loss communicate with other people, get into and remain in work and look after their health and wellbeing. Despite its benefits, we know that people who are deaf of have hearing loss often struggle to access the social care they need due to social care funding cuts, unwarranted variations in service quality and provision, and poor co-ordination between health and social care services.
We believe high-quality support, therapies and information are vital in easing the distress tinnitus can cause. Provision of audiology and tinnitus services should be protected, local variation in access and quality of services should be addressed, and there should be better public awareness about prevention.