Services for deaf people leave many ‘patronised’

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LEGAL action could be brought against healthcare providers unless services for deaf people are improved, it has been warned.

A study commissioned by the county’s official NHS watchdog said misdiagnosis and wrong treatment could lead to legal action.

Banbury’s Sign Lingual said interviews with deaf people reported problems like lack of interpreters and communicating with NHS staff. Some felt “patronised”, “talked down to” and “treated like a child”, its report said.

Healthwatch said it would work with NHS leaders to improve access to interpreters and training for staff.

Chairwoman Jean Nunn-Price said: “Thanks to this survey we now have a better understanding of the needs of the deaf community in Oxfordshire.”

A spokesman for Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, which makes most NHS spending decisions in the county, said it would “work to ensure reasonable adjustments are made to services to make them accessible”.

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