Tuesday, 30 March 2021

The Health experience


Perhaps a real reason for only professionals that are neutral should be supporting the deaf signer.  This experience only suggests the carer was poor, but it may well have been a patient's relative doing the same thing.  The underlying issues are that the deaf persist in using untrained and biased support from families and friends, and then 'surprised' by the deaf patient others sign too.  I hope the NHS suggested the carer was replaced for abuse.

Only when the NHS does its job properly and bans untrained support for deaf patients will anything change, this means refusing to allow the deaf to 'choose' own support that cannot provide a qualification, but it is really imperative medical staff are able to diagnose and treat a deaf patient and ensure choices and outcomes are decided BY the deaf patient and not vested or paid interests who lack the neutrality or skills to empower a deaf patient.

We can start by demanding NHS Insurance companies ensure that NO untrained or biased support no matter how well-meaning is allowed.  E.G. a deaf patient with sensitive issues to address like sexual/disability/learning issues etc can be overruled by a family member supporting them, or simply not told about choices, even appointments, and choice dispensed by how a relative feels it is best from their view regarding what treatment is applied.  Such family members may not even be carers at all, but still making decisions FOR deaf patients, not just children or siblings but adults who left home and married to others.  Giving biased areas control over deaf people's lives.

There are hundreds of cases where a deaf signer has never used a trained BSL interpreter but has relied on a parent or sibling.  Statistics show 90% are not using them, so who IS supporting them?  it isn't trained people, is it?  They are aided and abetted BY the NHS who want to avoid their responsibilities and cut costs that are incurred via supporting deaf people.  Who hasn't been to GP who asked are family-supporting you? is there someone with you who can translate?  or where is your 'carer'?  when the first question they should be asking, is would you like an interpreter?  I cannot see you without one that is approved. It is about the NHS unwilling to do its job of supporting a deaf patient to save money.

This has meant a plethora of random deaf charities emerging trying to take up the slack, i.e. making a living out of providing support themselves instead of the NHS/999 et al doing what they are legally obliged to do and will, i.e. for other areas that need translation services, (like BAME ones).  Charity is as much part of the problem as part of the solution and some, are preferring to supply services via handouts, instead of lobbying the NHS to do what it is supposed to be doing, like e.g. providing its own BSL and deaf/HoH provision by right.  This all falls down as it did recently with SignHealth (UK), who ran out of funds, which essentially means some deaf got no support.   They then reverted to blaming the NHS not the fact they were making a living from the support instead they could not gurantee.

It would at least remove the randomness of part-time BSL interpreters who add to the problem and refuse to provide a reliable service provision as a result. BSL needs a reliable and readily available support system and charity isn't that, it takes away the onus for the NHS to do its duty of care.  No wonder angry responses went to the BDA who encouraged family over and above professionalism and neutral support.  Using deaf rights to disempower the deaf and make them ever reliant ON charity. Some sort of obscene charitable job preservation. But worse, disabling deaf choices over their own health and futures.

FX-322 (You'll belive the deaf can hear).


A cure first mooted in the UK in 1994, we are still waiting.