The Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board (BOB ICB) has issued a positive response to our report on GP surgery care when you’re deaf, Deaf or hard of hearing.

In June 2023, our report highlighted the issues that people with various degrees of hearing loss can face.

It explained that people experienced challenges in three key areas:

  • Basic communication
  • Booking appointments
  • Attending appointments.

ICB ‘very supportive’ of recommendation

We recommended that GP surgeries throughout the BOB ICB area should be encouraged to sign up to the Healthwatch Bucks Deaf and Hearing Loss GP Practice Charter.

This sets out a commitment to reducing inequalities in access to GP surgery care that may affect people who are Deaf, deaf or hard of hearing. By signing up to this Charter, GP practices can show that they are committed to meeting their requirements under the Accessible Information Standard.

We recommended that the Charter should be displayed in GP practices and on their websites.

In its response to Healthwatch Bucks, BOB ICB states:

The ICB is very supportive of this recommendation and will seek to ensure that all GP surgeries in Bucks are encouraged to sign up to the Charter.

In her letter to Healthwatch Bucks, Philippa Baker, BOB ICB Place Director for Buckinghamshire, says:

Many thanks for your very comprehensive report regarding access to GP surgery care for people who are Deaf, deaf or hard of hearing. As you point out in your report, for this group of people access to their GP and ultimately into the health system can be very challenging if no support or aids are in place.

We will publish your report in our GP Bulletin so that all practice members are aware of your findings and recommendations, and will engage with the GP Provider Alliance on implementing the recommendation. I will also forward the report to my fellow BOB Place Directors in Oxfordshire and Berkshire West.


Response from BOB ICB to our report

Published on 12 Jul, 2023 (updated 3 Jun, 2024)

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