Access all Areas?

A report into the experiences of people with hearing loss when accessing healthcare.

Action on Hearing Loss.  Access all areas? A report into the experiences of people with hearing loss when accessing healthcare. Laura Ringham

Ten million people in the UK have hearing loss. It is vital that these people have the same level of access to healthcare as hearing people. 

We conducted a survey of over 600 people with different levels of hearing loss to explore the experiences they have when accessing healthcare. The survey asked a range of questions regarding experiences when contacting their GP surgery, consultations with medical staff and access to pharmacies.

Access all areas? presents the findings of that survey. 

The report addresses a severe lack of deaf awareness among GPs. It found that patients who felt unclear after a consultation attributed the misunderstandings to their GP not facing them (64%) and not always speaking clearly (57%).

Our recommendations

The Equality Act 2010 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995(external link, opens new window) provide a clear and legal foundation for providing access to healthcare for people with hearing loss.

However our findings suggest that people with hearing loss are facing challenges when trying to access healthcare. 

Health sectors across the UK should:

  • meet their legal obligations to ensure their healthcare services are fully accessible to patients with hearing loss
  • met their public sector equality duties by promoting equality of opportunity for people with hearing loss

Download the Access all Areas?(external link, opens new window) report (PDF, 531kb).

You can download a free PDF viewer(external link, opens new window) from the Adobe website.

For more information

If you would like to find out more information about the report and the issues it addresses please contact our information line on:

Telephone: 0808 808 0123

Textphone: 0808 808 9000