In November 2017, we published our report on the experiences of people with hearing loss when they are accessing GP surgeries or hearing aid maintenance.
We sent this report with our recommendations to Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) in Buckinghamshire.* In December 2017, we received the following response from the Trust to our recommendations.
Our recommendation : Let staff know how much their services are valued and appreciated by many of those with hearing loss
We welcome the report and were very pleased to see that our services for people with hearing loss are valued and appreciated by our patients. We were delighted to share those findings with our staff.
Our recommendation : Work with the audiology department and others to deliver a programme of deaf awareness training for all frontline staff
We agree there is a need for greater deaf awareness in healthcare settings. All audiology staff at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust receive deaf awareness training and also provide training to other staff within the Trust, and externally when requested. We would be happy to work with GPs and their support staff to provide training should they wish to receive it.
As part of our implementation of the Accessible information Standard, frontline staff are able to add an alert to patient records to ensure that the fact that they have a communication need is recorded to make staff aware of any support needs. For example we are able to book BSL interpreters.
Our recommendation : Work with others to make hearing loss maintenance services available more widely across the county
Everyone fitted with a hearing aid from Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust has their repair options explained at the time of fitting. This includes a drop-off service, a postal service and a repair clinic service. Our staff are aware of the need for a quick and efficient repair service and these services are given a high priority.
The audiology department within the Trust works closely with Action on Hearing Loss and other providers of audiology services and is happy to continue this.
*Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust runs Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
The Clinical Commissioning Groups are NHS bodies that buy the services that we use such as A&E, outpatient services, maternity services and community health services.