Support for people with hearing impairment
Finding the best way to communicate with the practice if you are deaf or hard of hearing.
The increasing use of the telephone, both to book appointments and to have a consultation, can be problematic for patients who are unable to use the telephone due to being deaf. There are various ways that we can set things up to try to make overcome this challenge so please let us know if you would like us to act on any of these suggestions:
Choose how you would like us to communicate with you
When we need to get in touch with you, you may prefer that we always communicate in a certain way, for instance via letter, text or email rather than by phoning. If so, we can put an alert on your notes stating that you are deaf and that this is your preferred method of communication. Alternatively, you might prefer to appoint a family member or friend to be your point of contact – see below for more on this.
Getting in touch with us for routine matters
If you are happy with using a computer, and have access to the internet, then the simplest way to get in touch with us if via one of our online forms which can be accessed here. There are separate forms you can fill in for administrative queries and for when you would like medical advice or would like to get a message to a doctor. Any online submissions submitted before 2pm will be reviewed the same day and acted on accordingly – this might be the same day or in the next few days, depending on the nature of what you need help with.
Getting in touch in an emergency
For real emergencies you should always call 999, and the emergency services have an excellent scheme called Pegasus where you can register your mobile phone and use the 999 text service. Take a look here for more details about this scheme.
Getting in touch for urgent matters
Sometimes you may need quite urgent medical advice, but it is not an emergency where you should call 999 but you want to know that a doctor is going to see your message quickly, or where you need to have contact from a doctor that day and it is after 2pm. You should not use the electronic form for this, as we can’t guarantee that we will respond to it in the timeframe you are looking for. We can, however, set up a texting system a bit like the Pegasus system. You would need to contact us to set this up. The way it works is that you would send a text to a dedicated landline we use for urgent matters only. In the text you would state your name and that you would like us to send you a text or email that you can reply to for an urgent matter. We will then send this to you and your response will be sent directly to the duty doctor for action. We can explain it in more detail when you get in touch.
If you are deaf and think there is anything we could do to better support you then do get in touch and give us your ideas!
British Sign Language Videos
There are some great health advice videos that have been produced by the British Heart Foundation using British Sign Language. Follow these links to find out more: