"My experience with healthcare when caring for my deaf parents"

About: Crosshouse Hospital / Cardiology NHS Ayrshire & Arran

(as a volunteer/advocate),

A carer from East Ayrshire told us:-

Crosshouse Ward F

Nurses good at getting stuff done in the coronary ward 4f

Mum and dad are deaf. Doctors let me in to sign instead of waiting on an interpreter.

A&E wasn’t great. They were arrogant. They didn’t let relatives in. My parents felt lonely as they can't shout for help due to be being deaf and someone stopped me going in. My parents didn’t know what was going on initially because I wasn’t allowed to go and see them to sign. Eventually I got let in so I could calm them down and sign.

Portland Practice

They decided in April at my mum's GP- hey would stop allowing my mum to text or email to book appointments. They said they will have to phone. They are deaf and I am at school so I couldn’t phone which meant one time my mum dint have medication for two months as she can’t phone to make a repeat prescription or speak to anyone to book an appointment.

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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Dear Strawberry1,

I am sorry you have found variations in the care you and your family have experienced. I have considered your words very carefully and I appreciate there are a few things here. If I may, I would like to take them one at a time.

Firstly, I am delighted that the care in 4F was good and I will be very happy to pass this on to them, it always makes a difference to know when we have done well.

Secondly, A/E, I really am sorry you felt the staff were arrogant and not including you or allowing you to help communicate with your parents. As an advocate for your parents you are absolutely right to want the best for your parents. I think it may be fair to say that by excluding you, you felt this was unhelpful and caused you and your Mum and Dad distress and that is not what we want. I don’t know what age you are Strawbery1 but you sound very mature so I am sure you can appreciate that your parents (like everyone) are entitled to patient confidentiality and it is possible that the reluctance to involve you may stem from that. I will certainly pass this to the managers responsible for A/E and I am sure they will consider this very carefully.

Thirdly, as you probably know, each GP practice can approach things in different ways but ultimately, we want the best for all of the patients in A&A. You said your parents were previously allowed to text or email into the practice and now they are not allowed to. The texting is a risky business and I agree with the practice that this presents issues. The mobile number used was an individual’s number and there is no governance which would ensure messages are received and acted upon.

The GP practice has requested that in order to address your comments, they would encourage you to go through the practice’s official complaints procedure (you can get this from the practice or on their website at http://www.portlandroadsurgery.co.uk/practice-policies.aspx. If you need any additional help or support, you can contact the Patient Advice and Support Service (PASS) at the Citizens Advice Bureau and they can help to support and guide you. The Patient Adviser for East Ayrshire, Antonia Hayles can be contacted on 0800 3282519 or AHayles@eastayrshirecab.casonline.org.uk.

I am sorry this post is so long but I hope it is helpful to you. Please contact me directly if there is anything else you think I can do to help. eunice.goodwin@aapct.scot.nhs.uk or on 01563 526222.

Kind regards


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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

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Dear Strawberry1

I am aware that in April a number of options were made to your mum to support her to receive repeat prescriptions and make appointments with her practice and I am sorry that she has felt these were unsuitable. We are aware that other deaf service users make use of these options and have found them to work well for their needs.

We are keen to ensure your mum can access the surgery and some further options are available if you and your mum would like to explore these. We would be happy to discuss these further with you. You can contact me direct on eunice.goodwin@aapct.scot.nhs.uk or on 01563 526222. Alternatively, you can contact Elaine who’s job it is to help with things like this. Elaine is our Equality and Diversity Adviser and you can contact her by email - Elaine.savory@aapct.scot.nhs.uk or on 01563 826438.


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