Deaf News: Deaf people being failed by the NHS in Dundee, says whistleblower

Posted on January 4, 2017

The Dundee Courier has reported on how the local NHS trust is failing Deaf patients by  not providing enough access to sign language interpreters. At fault, according to local people, is the booking system, as well as a lack of Deaf awareness.

The paper reports:

NHS Tayside is still failing the region’s deaf community, according to a concerned whistleblower.

The Courier has learnt complaints are regularly made by deaf people over a lack of access to sign language interpreters.

A key figure within Dundee’s charitable sector for the deaf and hard of hearing claims an “inflexible” booking system is leading to interpreters failing to make medical appointments for people reliant on their services.

It’s further claimed a basic lack of awareness on the part of doctors and medical staff is leading to interpreters often not being booked when necessary.

The complaints, its said, have all been passed to NHS Tayside, but very little has been addressed.

The allegations come just two years after the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) intervened in the case of an elderly Perth woman left in hospital for six days without access to an interpreter.

Claiming nothing has improved since then, the whistleblower said: “Deaf people are still turning up to appointments and there is no one there.

“It’s not the interpreter’s problem, they’re there to do a job and are frustrated too.

“It’s the booking system that isn’t flexible enough.

Read the full story here:


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