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BSL Charter signing shows commitment to improvements for deaf community

Published 16/09/2015

DERBY Hospitals are ‘leading the way’ in providing services for deaf people living in the county, according to patients affected by hearing impairment.

Robin Ash, Access & Inclusion (BSL Charter) Officer for the British Deaf Association, was enthusiastically backed by other members of the deaf community in his praise for the pioneering steps which have been made at the Royal Derby Hospital and London Road Community Hospital to make sure the community is able to access healthcare in the best possible way.

His comments came as the Trust signed a charter pledging to go even further to improve services for our patients and families who are affected by hearing loss.

Sue James, Chief Executive of the Trust, said: “We have made a lot of small changes, but we hope they have made a big difference. There is still a lot to do, but signing the charter will further demonstrate our commitment to building upon the strong foundations and achievements of the past, and continue to work hard to make Derby Teaching Hospitals the best in the country for accessing care for anyone with a hearing difficulty.”

Changes which have already been made include: a text service for car park users unable to communicate through the intercom;  a new call system for staff who accept patients onto restricted wards; better access to British Sign Language interpreters and staff in the Trust are being trained to improve their understanding of the needs of the deaf community.

These things have been put in place following extensive consultation with the deaf community.

Robin, who has been a patient at the Royal Derby Hospital on many occasions, said: “There really have been some significant changes at the hospitals. This Trust is leading the way, and other Trusts can follow. We can point back to this Trust and the work they have done.”



Around one in four people in the UK have some sort of hearing impairment, and Derby is widely believed to have the second largest deaf population in the UK, outside London.

In signing the BSL Charter, the Trust has made five pledges to the deaf community.

They are:

1.    To ensure access for deaf people to information and services

2.    To promote learning and high quality teaching of British Sign Language

3.    To support deaf children and families

4.    To ensure staff working with deaf people can communicate effectively in British Sign Language

5.    To consult with our local deaf community on a regular basis.

Deaf charter seven
Last Modified 16/09/2015