"Deaf people and NHS Scotland"

About: NHS Forth Valley

(as a service user),

I suffer from hearing problems and have had two hearing aids for around fifteen years. These enable me to hear most things in normal circumstances, but it is virtually impossible to understand voices on the phone unless the person has a low pitched voice and speaks reasonably slowly and clearly. It is therefore infuriating to receive hospital appointment letters which demand that you phone to confirm the appointment and do not give any other means of contact. To me, this is discrimination against people with a hearing disability who are unable to communicate comfortably by phone. In this day and age, surely there is no good reason why such letters could not also contain an email address which can be used to confirm appointments?

In addition, when you do try to phone, you are invariably greeted by a frequently lengthy recorded message of extremely poor quality which is often totally unintelligible. Surely, it is not to much to ask that a little care is taken to ensure that the person recording the message has reasonable verbal communication skills and does not just mumble the message as quickly as possible? These are problems that can be sorted quickly, with minimal costs, so how about some action from someone please.

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Response from Pauline Marland, Person Centred Patient Experience Coordinator, Department of Nursing, NHS Forth Valley

Dear Annoyed Husband

Many thanks for taking the time to leave feedback about your recent experience, I appreciate you bringing this issue to our attention.

I have shared your feedback with our patient booking team and using your feedback we are looking at how we can improve our services to assist individuals with contacting our teams and will feedback how we have used your comments to improve communication.

Kindest regards

Pauline Marland

Person Centred Patient Experience Coordinator

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