Getting it right for Deaf people in Trafford

Read our report on access to health services for Deaf people in Trafford.

About this report

We spoke to Deaf residents, service providers, commissioners and BSL Interpreters to get a clearer picture of the patient journey experienced by local Deaf people.

Key findings

  • Barriers to contacting hospital & GP services to make appointments and collect test results.
  • Problems with agency BSL interpreters booked by health services.
  • Lack of Deaf awareness among health and administration staff shown by poor communication methods, often leading to missed appointments and unacceptable delays in assessment and treatment. 


  • All services to offer SMS text messaging service for Deaf patients to book appointments & collect test results.
  • All services to provide Deaf Awareness training for medical and administrative staff, provided by a local Deaf charity.
  • All services to send patients confirmation of BSL Interpreter booking with name of the interpreter booked, health service name, appointment time and date before the appointment.
  • All services to discuss communication needs of individual Deaf patients, including preferred choice of interpreter and preferred gender.
  • All services to flag patient’s communication needs on patient records to ensure all communication with them by medical, administrative staff and Interpreters is appropriate and effective.
  • All service commissioners to liaise with Trafford Deaf Partnership or Genie Networks before commissioning BSL Interpreter services and take their recommendations into account.
  • All services to build accessible complaints processes for BSL Interpreters into commissioning process.
  • All services to use plain English in letters and information sent out to Deaf patients.
  • All services to offer online BSL Interpreter Services in emergency situations or short notice appointments e.g Sign Translate.
  • All services to raise staff awareness around the impact of appointment delays on BSL interpreter availability (Interpreter may have to leave before the patient is seen) and put processes into place to ensure Deaf patients are seen on time.
  • Hospital Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS) processes to be reviewed to ensure accessibility for Deaf people and that information & promotional materials are available in plain English format.
  • All health services should promote and raise awareness of the emergency SMS text service to Deaf patients. 


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Getting it right for Deaf people in Trafford
Getting it right for Deaf people in Trafford update

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