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BDA welcomes the decision by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

24 February 2015

The BDA welcomes the decision by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) who recently published a case summary about a Deaf woman whose GP practice stopped providing a BSL interpreter for her appointments due to a dispute over funding. Instead, they offered to communicate with her through written notes during appointments, even though she is unable to understand written English.

The PHSO investigated and upheld the complaint. This resulted in the Practice and the NHS Local Area Team acknowledging and apologising for their failings, as well as the complainant being awarded £3,000 financial compensation.

BDA’s Director of Community Development and Operations - Damian Barry said: “The BDA welcomes this decision as it sends a powerful message to Deaf people, who for too long have put their lives at risk because they have been unable to communicate with their GP’s. The BDA encourages all Deaf people to use this decision to ask for sign language interpreters at their local GP, so that they may be afforded the same access to health care as everyone else.”

WATCH a short video summary of the case in BSL here:

To see full text report - visit Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman website - click here.

Get tips on making a complaint to the NHS in England, by watching this.