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Health bosses sign pledge to improve services for deaf patients

Nottingham North and East Clinical Commissioning Group has became one of the first three CCGs in the Country to sign the British Sign Language Charter as part of our commitment to improve the experience of deaf people who use health services. We made the pledge with our partners in the South  – NHS Nottingham West and Rushcliffe Clinical Commissioning Groups  – at a special event attended by the Nottinghamshire Deaf Society and the BSL.

British Sign Language Charter

Nottingham North and East, Nottingham West and Rushcliffe CCGs become the first to sign up to the British Sign Language Charter

Signing the pledge gives us a platform to reduce health inequalities of the deaf community as lay chair for NHS Nottingham West CCG Nigel Hallam explains: “Signing the pledge is a sign of our dedication to deaf people that we are committed to making sure they have equal access to health services, information and support.

“It gives us a lever to make sure providers are delivering equal services to their deaf patients. It is part of our collective commitment as commissioners to remove direct and indirect discrimination against deaf people to give them the ability and independence to access services and provide better educational options for Deaf children.”

Robin Ash; empowerment and campaigns officer for BSL said: ‘This pledge is very significant for the National Deaf Community. For years, deaf people have experienced inequality through lack of awareness and lack of knowledge on the part of service providers.

“This will enable both parties to come together to improve the health of the deaf community’s health and to enable people to live longer.”

Gloria Pullen of the Nottinghamshire Deaf Society said: “We have problems accessing services, barriers have existed. With the signing of the charter, those barriers have begun to be lifted. There are lots of information leaflets and reading it is all well and good but some people can’t read it because of literacy issues. Through sign language it overcomes the barriers we face so we welcome this move.”

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