|David Blunkett supports LINk sensory impairment report|
|Wednesday, 15 February 2012|
Local MP. David Blunkett, was happy to support the LINk's report on "GPs support for patients with hearing or visual impairment". He took part in photographs with LINk chair Mike Smith (pictured right) and with Development Officer, Michelle Wood, and was pictured in an article in The Star (see below) on Tuesday 14 February together with a quote. He also plans to attend a workshop LINk is holding for GPs in early March on this subject.
The report was based on the findings from a LINk 'request for information' to all main GP practices last year. The questionnaire was designed in association with Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind (SRSB) and Deaf Advice Service Sheffield (DASS) and asked the practices about the numbers of patents they have with a sensory impairment and how they support them.
The key findings of the research showed that while local GPs show the best intentions in supporting patients with a sensory impairment there are no standard ways of either identifying or supporting them.
The report recommends that they look at how they can ensure that they looking to how they 'flag up' their hearing and visual impaired patients and also how best to support them.
Other recommnedations include setting up a dedicated mobile number for hearing–impaired patients to text their practice and consider having at least a portable hearing loop. It also asks practices to look into providing core materials in large print and audio formats and to improve their rates for referring patients to specialist agencies for support.
LINk is also holding a free workshop in early March for practice staff to meet with DASS and SRSB to discuss the issues and look at some relatively simple and cost-effective ways forward.
Speaking about the report, LINk chair Mike Smith said; "We believe that there are a number of simple and practical steps that can be taken to improve the experience of patients with a sensory impairment when visiting their GP. We hope that our report and workshop will give this a big boost in Sheffield"