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Access to Health in Northern Ireland

If you live in Northern Ireland, find out what you can do to make your GP surgery more accessible for deaf people and those with hearing loss.

Do you find it difficult to book an appointment with your GP over the phone? Ever missed your name being called in the waiting room – or left your GP appointment feeling unclear about your health advice? You’re not alone.

Despite the introduction of guidance for GP practices in 2014 on how to make primary care services more accessible, our research shows that many people who are deaf or have hearing loss still aren’t getting the support they need to communicate well at the GP’s.

The results of our 2017 survey show that nearly two-thirds (68%) feel unclear about the information they’re given, at least some of the time. 70% of survey respondents said that they haven’t noticed any improvements over the past three years in the way GPs, nurses or other health and social care professionals communicate with them.

We’ll be using our findings to campaign for change, so that GPs improve how they communicate with deaf people or those with hearing loss. But we need your help to spread our message far and wide.

How you can help

We all want to support GP surgeries to improve their practice, so we’ve produced a simple tool to help you tell yours what’s not right, the impact that has, and the simple changes you’d like to see.

Let your GP surgery know how they can be more accessible for people who are deaf or have hearing loss.

Download our policy position for Northern Ireland to help you write your letter.

Page last updated: 8 July 2022

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