NHS seeks to improve digital communications for deaf and deafblind patients with mental health needs

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS FT kicked off a deaf digital inclusion project aiming at promoting best practice for communicating with deaf and deafblind patients. To this aim, the project inspects the challenges that patients encounter vis-à-vis digital communications and ways to help the staff become more deaf aware. the project, which is led by a deaf services team, provides a range of support to deaf and deafblind people specifically those aged 18 years and over who mainly use British Sign Language (BSL) to communicate and who have mental health problems. ‘People who are oral and require lip reading can find video appointments a challenge if others on the call are not fully deaf aware and talk over one another. Alongside our project, our team aims to help our staff become more deaf aware to avoid this happening,’ explained clinical nurse specialist in deaf services team Emmanuel Chan.