Local people are being encouraged to share their thoughts on the standards of care they receive at GPs, dentists, hospitals and care homes, with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
CQC is particularly keen to hear from deaf and hard of hearing people about their experiences and has teamed up with Disability Rights UK to help make this easier.
It has recently launched SignLive on its website, where people can provide feedback in BSL. People can also get in touch using the RelayUK app, for those preferring to communicate by text.
It is essential for people to share their experiences of healthcare provision right across the region, to inform CQC’s monitoring of local services and to ensure people are receiving safe and effective treatment.
CQC’s chief inspector of Adult Social Care, Kate Terroni, said:
“We are committed to addressing health inequalities and reducing barriers to care.
“The lived experience of people who are deaf and hard of hearing, and the wider community, is significant in understanding how care for them can be improved. We want to learn from their experience and drive these improvements and ensure people received good, safe care”
Head of Advice & Information at Disability Rights UK, Michael Paul, said:
“We have a long and successful relationship with the Care Quality Commission in encouraging disabled people to share their experiences of care services they use. We’re really happy to again work together to reach more disabled people, and ultimately improve care services for disabled people and everyone else.”
It is estimated that one in six people are deaf or hard of hearing, which represents approximately 11 million people. This is expected to rise to 15.6 million by 2035.
There are 151,000 people in the UK who use BSL and, of these, 87,000 are deaf.
People can give feedback on their own experiences of care, or those of someone they care for, on the CQC website.
Feedback can also be given through the local Healthwatch, which can also help with advice, information and support.