UCLH backs National Deaf Awareness Week 

05/05/2015 00:00 
Deaf Champions will be talking to patients and staff about the support and services offered to people with hearing difficulties during a series of events at UCLH.

The sessions (between 10am-1pm) are to mark National Deaf Awareness Week.

They are being held at University College Hospital and the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital (today 5th); University College Hospital EGA Wing (6th); University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre (7th). The final session will be held at The Eastman Dental Hospital on Friday (8th).

Staff at UCLH who have learnt British Sign Language (BSL) have set up their own Signing Club after work, so they can hone their skills and offer support to each other.

It was established by Lisa Hardy, a medical secretary, and Elsa Palmer, a clinical nurse specialist in gynaecology (Pictured in photo) to improve the patient experience for the Deaf community. Both colleagues have already gained their Level 2 award in BSL.

Elsa Palmer said:  “We have emergency walk-ins and it is useful to reassure the patient that they will be seen. Sometimes that is all they need to feel less stressed until the professional interpreter arrives.”

Pat Isaacs, lead for the UCLH Interpreting Services, said Deaf Awareness and other sensory impairment sessions are held on a regular basis.

She added: "We are hoping to develop a programme to teach BSL to front line staff and, once they have completed their training, this group will help them to polish their skills and keep them up-to-date.”

Click here to find out more about Deaf Awareness Week.

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