Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has become the first NHS health board in Wales to sign the British Deaf Association’s British Sign Language Charter.
By doing so, the UHB has pledged to:
- Consult with their local deaf community on a regular basis
- Ensure access for deaf people to information and services
- Support deaf children and their families
- Ensure staff working with deaf people can communicate effectively using British Sign Language
- Promote learning and high quality teaching of British Sign Language.
Ruth Walker, Executive Nurse Director and Lead for Patient Experience at Cardiff and Vale UHB, said
“I am absolutely delighted that the UHB has signed this charter, pledging to continue the hard work we have been doing to improve the accessibility of our service for everyone. To have recognition from a national organisation for the work that the team has undertaken in partnership with the deaf community to improving the experience of patients with hearing loss is fantastic. At the start of this process, we had some difficult conversations with members of the deaf community who highlighted to us the areas in which we needed to improve and, although we have come a long way since then, we will endeavour to continue to improve patient experience.
By working collaboratively with the deaf community in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan we can ensure that our services are suitable for those that need them now and those who will come to need them in the future. It is my hope that this work is recognised as how things can be put right through consulting and collaboration with our population and that our example is followed across Wales.”
Agnes Dyab, Chair of the British Deaf Association, said:
"The commitment from Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has shown that they have heard and understood the frustration of Deaf people gaining access to health services. It was good seeing the positive partnership between the Deaf community and the Board working together. We do hope it provides inspiration for the other Health Boards throughout Wales to follow."