Engagement - News and Updates

Taunton and Bridgwater Deaf Club October 2023

Taunton and Bridgwater Deaf Club - October 2023

NHS Somerset were invited by Healthwatch Somerset to attend the October meeting of the Taunton and Bridgwater Deaf Club to support them with addressing accessibility issues which had been raised at both a previous meeting, and our AGM earlier in the month.

Following initial introductions, it was clear the group were very passionate about the issues they have with accessibility and living their best life, from making GP appointments, transport issues, especially the inability to call ahead when attending appointments to inform of any problems with late transport, lack of interpreters and lack of understanding from some staff. They were keen to highlight some practices and clinicians are very d/Deaf aware but the constant need to inform staff of their condition was very time consuming and soul destroying.


The idea of being alone in a busy A&E department and unable to communicate or understand what is happening was a powerful point raised and this was further heightened when discussion became solely through British Sign Language excluding us – a powerful example of just how isolating d/Deaf people can feel.

As a consequence of these, and other recent discussions, we are currently looking into our interpreter service and availability and how to ensure any emergency calls and visits to A&E departments can be less traumatic for anyone with hearing loss.

We will continue the conversations with the local group and will continue to provide updates to them.