We’re offering practical help for Camden’s GP practices

Healthwatch Camden’s offered to visit every GP practice in Camden to help them implement the Accessible Information Standard.

Part of our remit is to make sure that everyone gets equal access to health and social care services in Camden, this is a vital aspect of our work.

The Standard aims to make sure that people who have communication support needs can get information in ways that they can use and understand.

About one in ten patients are likely to have communication support needs because they are visually impaired or d/Deaf or have a learning difficulty. 

Following our report on access to GP services for people with communication support needs we talked with people who work in GP practices – particularly the receptionists and the practice managers. They told us that they would welcome really practical support – and that’s what we’re providing.

During the sessions we help GP practices to make sure that:

All new patients get the chance to register using a format they prefer (Easy Read or Large Print). We offer to adapt the practice registration forms into Large Print and Easy Read formats for them.

The practice asks all patients if they have a communication support need and records patient preferences somewhere that can be seen easily every time by all staff. We also provide a poster.

All staff get Deaf Awareness Training.

There is a hearing loop. While we are there we test the hearing loop to be sure it is working. If not, we provide advice on getting a new one.

Staff know about new technology that can help provide British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters for emergency appointments.

So far we have made practical support visits to 18 GP practices – more than half the total in Camden.

We’re delighted that every single practice we visited reports that the session was very useful and that they would recommend it to others. 

If your GP practice has not yet booked an AIS practical support session with Healthwatch Camden, please encourage them to do so.

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