Improving Access for Deaf or Hearing Impaired Patients

It is vital we make our practice accessible, so that people who are deaf or have hearing loss can contact us, communicate well during appointments – and fully understand the information we give them.

We have worked with the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) to ensure we are enabling our patients to access services effectively when they need them and to understand what is available to them.

People with hearing loss may find it difficult or impossible to use the telephone to book an appointment, order repeat prescriptions or receive test results.

Communication Methods we support:

  • online booking requests via our eConsultation service for non-urgent appointments
  • SMS text replies to patients
  • Textphone
  • Relay UK (which has replaced Text Relay) – typed messages are relayed to the other caller via an operator
  • video relay – conversation is relayed through a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter using video.
  • You can ask any of our team to write something down for you or read something you have brought in – we are here to help

We do not offer email communication as this is not a secure or safe method of communication and can prevent delay in receipt of urgent care. Our eConsultations service provides a digital means of contacting the practice safely and confidentially.

Check in and Patient call systems are in place to support you:

  • Highly visible check in screen
  • Working hearing loop at our reception desk
  • Our patient call system has been changed from audible only to a large screen in reception with the patient name and room number visible
  • Our clinicians will also come to reception to check if they know a patient has impaired hearing

When you register, we ask about how you prefer to communicate, but if you need to change this you can do so at any time and we will record this on your record to help us help you better when you access our services. We can provide double appointments on request if this would help you for improved, effective communication.

You may also wish to contact Adult Services at Bristol City Council for support with any equipment that you may need to access the specialist services noted above including textphones / Relay UK.

Please note that where a patient decides not to communicate with the practice using one of the RNID recommended services above to enable safe, timely, effective treatment and care from our clinicians, the practice will have no choice but to ask the patient to register with a new GP practice as patient safety is our priority.

We are providing training for receptionists and other staff members on the different ways people with hearing loss may wish to make contact and be contacted. We welcome feedback on any other ways we could help.