Friday, 2 April 2021

Relay Systems: a good or Bad idea?

Hard of Hearing media also with issues of access to health systems in the UK, following the issues with demise of the BSL health relay systems due to lack of funding, there are now concerns video relay funding for HoH will follow the same route.  Covid has decimated fundraising for the deaf and HoH and shoe-string charity support is now viewed as part of the issue too...

#1  We wouldn't need all this if charities had not undermined our access to the NHS, which skilfully avoided giving us it for 70 YEARS. E.G. With the demise of SignHealth the BSL relay system folded this week because the charity relied on handouts that never came during covid. Now is really the time we drop charity altogether and force the NHS to include us, 70yrs is an utter disgrace, but, in accepting shoe-string alternatives we were architects of our own exclusion. I appreciate there are supporters of relay systems but I prefer A Dr to see me in person. These things tend to be veiled 'surveys' to encourage charity again who make a big deal over them not getting funds for a service that should be there anyway.

#2  Unfortunately, telecare is going to continue for time being and shielders would be and will be in danger in face to face meetings. When possible to have face to face meetings, clear face masks need to be worn. You are right that this is a systemic issue but the UK is not alone in this. Other countries and their deaf and Hoh communities are also dealing with those issues. We do not believe in the charity model,  the social and rights model that is the way forward here, equal access to all different areas in society. Indeed, the piecemeal situation with SignHealth shows that VRS needs to be centrally funded.

#3  Central funding is an issue, as is centralising any access.  The UK has 4 devolved health areas now and each NHS is run individually by them which makes lobbying harder (Or easier?) to do. In accessing my GP originally there was no signed or other help unless you provided your own, but I found a clause in the NHS law that stated you can make a demand for your access and if they don't comply in 6 months and 1 day then they automatically get taken to court and forced to provide it. Telling you to leave the practice is illegal too if they do it to avoid supporting you. 

#4  I sent an official request to my GP and quoted that law, I got support for the next appointment! and never looked back, however, UK hospitals are still denying access and clinics despite that law and despite 5 UK-wide anti-discrimination laws too. It seems most of the issue is deaf and HoH are simply unaware of their rights or fail to ask for them. As regards to HoH needs, the problem is simply no system of support the NHS can access for the HoH or deafened UNLESS we sign. No lip-speakers, no text operators etc... It is in our hands to create that demand, clearly we aren't doing it. We are playing these remote and charitable games instead which itself will undermine real demand.  

#5  The only time we see a medico is on the other side of a screen, it isn't access but a cost-saving gig as we know, cutting out the middle man aka the actual person to see face to face who can help you and who helps those who aren't even online? elderly? or those who cannot use relay because it lacks access formats they use?  

#6  What next? we get treated by remote? I've heard of 'physician heal thyself', but surely they don't expect us to as well!

#7  Covid has a lot to answer for but we need to monitor access isn't being made more difficult just so the NHS can avoid treating deaf and HoH patients, or avoid providing the real access that is our right and need, not just now, but post-covid we need to ensure such systems are a temporary measure, and not a permanent cheapo one via stealth, where rather than a Dr see a deaf or HoH patient personally, they keep them at length via a phone, Dr's need to SEE patients, hearing can, but we have to do it by remote?  not on!

Now HoH can see what they say....

Canvassing the deaf youth vote.


Lowering the voting age in Wales was a Labour party idea who are struggling to maintain control in Wales after 22 years having a free run, but who now are facing real opposition from other parties after an abysmal performance the last 10 years, because focus groups infiltrated the party, only intense hatred of conservatism has kept them there, but the smart money suggests a coalition of chaos, will deaf youth even vote? 18-21's haven't so far!  

NOTE: Mike Hedges should be interesting, in being a member of the cross-party group on sensory loss, he will no doubt explain why, grassroots are not allowed a voice in the Senedd and only charity can put your case.  Why vote for people like that?  Should we be suss, that the RNID pushed this advert, and given they withdrew because the Senedd wouldn't pay the deaf access bill to the committee, which hasn't HAD a meaningful meeting in the last 4 years? How many have are even aware such a committee exists?

For the first time, 16 and 17 year olds in Wales will be able to vote in the Senedd election! This means the views of young people are needed now more than ever.  The elections are happening soon so there will be lots of campaigning, debating and voting. Find out more about the Senedd, elections and what MSs are below!

What is the Senedd?

The Senedd is the Welsh Parliament.

Elections are held across Wales every 5 years.

The next election is this year on Thursday 6 May 2021.

The party that wins the most seats at the election forms the Welsh Government.

The Welsh Government has led the coronavirus response in Wales over the past year. It makes lots of decisions that affect our daily lives. This includes areas like education and health services.

This is the first time 16 and 17 year olds can vote so politicians, called Members of the Senedd (MSs), will need to listen to the voices of young people more than ever before.

What do these elections mean?

Labour is currently the largest party in the Senedd.

This means they run the Welsh Government with the help of the Lib Dems’ Kirsty Williams.

The Conservatives are the second-largest party in the Senedd and are the ‘official' opposition.

Plaid Cymru are close behind as the third-largest party.

All of this could change after the elections. Elections give voters the chance to highlight issues that matter to them.

What are MSs?

MS is short for Members of the Senedd.

There are 60 MSs in the Senedd and they each represent a constituency or region in Wales.

40 MSs represent 40 different constituencies and a further 20 represent 5 regions in Wales.

Each MS represent their constituency in the Senedd by raising local concerns and issues.

Have your say!

We are running a Welsh Elections & You online event for deaf 16-25 year olds in Wales. It takes place on Thursday 15  April at 7pm – 8pm. At the event, you can ask politicians about important issues. Whether it’s about deafness, coronavirus, lockdown, schools, access to further education, mental health and support – these are topics politicians are concerned about, and probably have different opinions on! You can sign up to this exciting event by visiting our event page.

The MSs joining us at the Welsh Elections & You event are:

Mike Hedges – Labour. Member of the cross-party group on Deaf Issues.

Laura Anne Jones – Conservative. Shadow Minister for Housing and Local Government, Equalities, Children and Young People. (add photo)

Dai Lloyd – Plaid Cymru. Chair of the Cross Party Group on Deaf Issues.

Jackie Charlton – Liberal Democrat. Jackie is profoundly deaf and uses cochlear implants and has a Hearing Dog for Deaf People called Lucie.