On Wednesday 17 May, Robin Ash from the British Deaf Association (BDA) organised a Deaf Health Information Day at the Derby Deaf Club, Rycote Centre in Derby. With the exception of London, Derby has the highest population of Deaf people in the UK and the club provides a range of activities for Deaf people and their families.
I was delighted to be invited along to the event by Alison Jones, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CU, who had a stand along with a number of other local health organisations. These included Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Derby Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, who were all represented by various departments including A&E, Equality and Diversity and Patient Experience. There was also representation from support groups such as the BDA and North Derbyshire Health Forum.
These organisations and groups came together for the afternoon to provide information for the Deaf community of Derbyshire regarding the services that are available to them, information about how they can access them and what support is available within the community.
They also wanted to gather feedback from the Deaf community regarding their services and how they can improve them. There were also several interpreters available to provide their services, ensuring the information was effectively communicated.
Robin Ash opened the event and there were keynote speeches from Ifti Majid, Acting CEO of Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Gavin Boyle, CEO of Derby Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust, who both spoke about their commitment to the BSL Charter and obtaining advice and feedback from the Deaf community regarding how to make their services better.
It was a privilege to meet so many of Derbyshire’s Deaf community today, and gain a real insight into the type of situations that present daily challenges to them, situations that are just part of everyday life for those of us that can hear. I am grateful to Alison for inviting me along, I learnt a great deal.
Regarding their partnership with Capita TI, Alison Jones said “The Deaf Health Information Day gave me the opportunity to invite Capita TI to come and meet the Deaf Community, as it is easy to work in an office organising the interpreting bookings, but not necessarily see the impact of those bookings.
Many people met with me to discuss their work. It also gave me the opportunity to see the different interpreting services provided which included deafblind interpreting, platform and community levels.