Health Services: Hearing Impairment

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 10th January 2019.

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Photo of Alex Sobel Alex Sobel Labour/Co-operative, Leeds North West

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that NHS services are accessible for people with hearing loss.

Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

It is the responsibility of local providers and commissioners of NHS services to make the reasonable adjustments required by the Equality Act 2010 to ensure that disabled people, including those with hearing impairments, are not placed at a disadvantage compared to non-disabled people.

Additionally, under the NHS Constitution for England, National Health Service organisations are required to provide high quality comprehensive services, based on clinical need, which do not discriminate between patients on the basis of disability, including people with hearing impairments.

In order to reduce the unacceptable variation in the provision of accessible information and communication support to disabled people, all organisations in England that provide NHS care or publicly-funded adult social care have been legally required to follow the Accessible Information Standard since 1 August 2016. This ensures that people with a disability, impairment or sensory loss are provided with information they can easily read or understand, with support, so they can communicate effectively with services. This will help ensure that they receive an improved standard of care and be more involved in how that care is delivered.

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