Margaret is deaf. Her first language is British Sign Language.
Margaret fell at home. She couldn’t move and thought she had broken her leg. She couldn’t call for an ambulance as she couldn’t use a hearing phone so she asked her mother to take her to her local Accident & Emergency.
When Margaret got to A&E she told the person checking her in that she was deaf. She explained her mother was also deaf. She said that she would not be able to hear her name being called.
Margaret waited for over an hour and was getting anxious about her appointment, so approached the desk again. She was told she hadn’t been called. She waited again. Eventually after 5 hours and having approached the desk on more than one occasion she was told that she missed her appointment.
Margaret was distressed and frustrated that her needs as a deaf person were not taken into account. She may have had a long wait in A&E if other emergencies had come in but she felt she had waited so long because she was deaf.
NHSGGC’s Communication Support and Language Plan aims to ensure that the communication needs of individual patients are assessed, in order for the right kind of support to be provided.