Best Practice Guidance in Creating Accessible Primary Care Services for People with Sensory Loss

Post date: 
Thursday, 27 August 2015
Northern Ireland

Do you work in a GP practice or any other primary healthcare facility in Northern Ireland?

Download best practice guidelines developed as support for Health care Commissioners, Health and Social Care Trusts, GP’s, nurses and Practice Managers to help improve accessibility to services for people who are deaf, have a hearing loss, are blind or partially sighted.

About the document

The guidance provides a practical approach to improving access to services for people who are deaf, have a hearing loss and are blind or partially sighted.  It focuses primarily on accessing services at GP surgeries, but can equally be applied in other primary care settings such as community pharmacies, dental surgeries; optometry practices and community based services provided by local Health and Social Care Trusts. 

Subjects addressed in these guidelines include:

  • Access to the Practice
  • Information
  • Training
  • Communication
  • Equipment and Technology
  • Policies and procedures
  • Example of best practice
  • Sources of further guidance and support

This publication has been developed by Action on Hearing Loss NI and RNIB NI with the support of the Health and Social Care Board in Northern Ireland.

It has been produced following the findings and recommendations identified by Action on Hearing Loss NI, RNIB NI and the British Deaf Association in their research report ‘Is It My Turn Yet?’ (2009), which reflected the views and experiences of people with sensory loss in accessing GP services across the region.

Guideline launch

At the launch of the guidelines, on 5 November 2014, over 60 delegates attending the event including; GPs, practice managers, those affected by sensory loss and health and social care professionals, listened to a range of speakers describe the difficulties that those with a sensory loss face when trying to access services.

Margaret Mann, who lives with sight loss said, "How would you feel if you had to ask your next door neighbour to read your mammogram screening results to you? Hopefully these guidelines being launched, will address this issue and give blind and partially sighted people the same level of privacy as anyone else."

Attending the event David Galloway, Director of RNIB Northern Ireland added, "People who are blind and partially sighted often have problems with getting information and correspondence from their GP in a suitable format and often staff in GP practices are not aware of the simple changes that they can make to better meet the needs of patients with sight loss. The guidance launched today provides straightforward advice on how to provide a good quality service to people with a sensory disability. RNIB is committed to helping GPs and other health care professionals understand the needs of people with sight loss and I would urge GPs to make sure that their Practice adopts the approaches recommended within this new guidance.”

Visit the Health and Social Care Board website to find out more about accessible Primary Care Services for People with Sensory Loss

Contact us

We’re RNIB and we’re here for everyone affected by sight loss.

If you or someone you know is affected by sight loss, contact us on 028 9032 9373 or email us at [email protected]

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