It would appear only now have some deaf realised their care options are dwindling and under the cosh with one deaf blog complaining the AOHL is dumping the deaf care. Although ATR published the CEO view some weeks ago.
It was on the cards last year, deaf care was/is costing them too much, and basically, the deaf are not even members of AOHL it's a puzzle they are only now complaining. End of January this year the AOHL was in debt/deficit mode, unless it got rid of its loss-making operations, deaf care is just one of them, more areas are to follow, and given the pro-Brexit vote, the AOHL has had to drop a scheme where it wanted to go European-wide as well. Along with that deaf care/cut statement was a change in remit, they are moving away from all care and support and investing in the deaf cure and research. They put money into Australian CI research too.
Frankly increased demands for more specialisation with deaf care areas and the fact there is no program of specialisation for the Deaf, meant the sell-off was inevitable, the AOHL could not fund the specialisation that just isn't there. It could not fund deaf interns to challenge the glass ceiling at the AOHL itself. Going private could be a plus for deaf care, the deaf could never hold the AOHL to account or any charities connected with deaf care as they were immune from FOI's or deaf demands. There was a banket assumption they knew best.
This potential closure follows the recent closures of deaf care by the BDA charity also who were inept financially and left 100s needing care in Limbo, and staff with no wages too. The whole area of deaf care was/is badly managed by charity whose role if any now, is to campaign and leave care to people able to do that. It means going back to lobby the state to put up and to admit they cannot do this themselves.
The CQC (Care Quality Commission), also had few powers to insist deaf care can only be provided by those experienced in deafness and its issues, as no training schemes exist to act as a baseline. As ATR posted prior, none of the major BSL organisations could name who was experienced in mental health care, undertook training, or, how many psychiatrist/psychologists even understood BSL.
Much was made of one clinic in Bury boasting minimum level 4 BSL support but that BSL level was NOT a health or care qualification. A lot of secondary care is undertaken by people with little or no signing experience at all, transient, with very basic 'care' skills which at root are just cleaning jobs.
At least if the private area takes over we can monitor them and take them to task if issues arise. Primarily the charitable approach to deaf care was amateur and rarely monitored, carers did not need a signing ability, BSL is/was all but not enough.
Clinical diagnosis areas are primarily hearing, so relied on interpreters, there were/are major issues there too because a qualification in BSL is NOT a care qualification in deaf mental health and given learning and other communication issues deaf face diagnosis was suspect as well. BSL interpreter continuity did not exist either. There was a conflict on deaf care approaches from the AOHL (who follow the clinical approaches), and, from the BDA (who preferred a cultural approach). The disagreements and differences also meant no training could even be started on specialisation until some norm could be agreed, it's still up in the air.
Deaf care will suffer obviously but as the Deaf have demanded the specialisations based on BSL, then only if a training set-up is agreed can it work. The problem is that UK BSL interpreting itself is in flux and fewer are taking that up. Local authorities are taking carers off the street even trying to attract learners from BSL classes and none of it works. In the ATR area there are deaf 'mentors' offered work caring for autistics who are hearing, with no basic experiences whatever. Apparently the fact some autistics signed a bit was the excuse. And others with no experience offered work to care for dementia patients.
The UK care areas have collapsed for all types of people requiring care from the born deaf/disabled to the elderly. Those needing specialist care usually are removed from their locale again because specialisation simply does no exist, but as we read with the AOHL and BDA not there either. Chemical care seems to be on the increase too.
Deaf and disabled were sold a pup when care in the community and the deaf Social Services folded, as rights activists and systems suggested let those areas be served by own charities who understood them, and, these charities were simply unable to do that as the system systematically cut their funding making that impossible, you cannot run specialist care via the begging bowl and now we are seeing charities admitting it. expect more deaf care closures and charities folding too.
One sobering statistic is 25% of the UK population has an MH issue, but, 40% of deaf children do. There is no cultural cure for that you need experts.