01/03/2023 | Press releases

Healthwatch Suffolk want to hear your experiences if you are d/Deaf or hard of hearing

d/Deaf or hard of hearing people are being asked to share their experiences of accessing NHS and social care in Suffolk.  

Healthwatch Suffolk are running a survey until the end of March 2023. They want to know if services are meeting their duties under the Accessible Information Standard (AIS). The AIS is a legal requirement that aims to ensure all publicly funded health and social care providers meet the information and communication needs of people who are d/Deaf, blind, or who have a learning disability. 

Wendy Herber (Independent Chair, Healthwatch Suffolk) said: 

“Accessing health or social care services is not always simple, but having an accessible information or support need can make things much harder. 

“From our engagement, we know that d/Deaf people have struggled to access support when they needed it most.  

“Our previous work tells us that we have some way to go before services are fully compliant with their legal requirements under the AIS. However, despite the challenges faced by services, we know there are actions that can be taken to improve people’s experiences of care. Our hope, is that our engagement with people in communities will highlight some quick wings for services, but also how things need to change longer-term to make sure they are easy to access for everyone who needs them.” 

How to take part  

You can take part to share your experiences. Alternative survey formats are available to download from www.healthwatchsuffolk.co.uk/aissurvey 

You can use British Sign Language to take part too. Contact the Healthwatch Suffolk team for free using SignLive.  

The survey is a part of Healthwatch Suffolk’s Your Care, Your Way campaign, which has already helped to raise awareness of people’s rights to accessible information, communication and support. Learn more at www.healthwatchsuffolk.co.uk/your-care-your-way. 

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