Calls For Improvements For Hearing Loss Care

Welsh Hospitals Are Being Urged To Improve Care For Patients With Hearing Loss


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397
Significant improvements are needed to the care given to patients with hearing loss at some hospitals in Wales, according to experts.

BBC Wales reports how the Community Health Councils visited 68 hospitals in the country, finding that 33 had inadequate support in place for those suffering from hearing loss, leading to calls for improvements to be made.

However, the Welsh government said it is up to health boards to provide care for such individuals.

A spokesperson commented: "Health boards are responsible for providing services to meet the needs of their local population, including the provision of audiology services and the installation of hearing loops and we expect them to meet patient demand.

"We will also be meeting representatives from the NHS, including the third sector, to help us develop plans to further improve audiology services."

Examples of poor provisions in place for individuals suffering from deafness include the lack of a loop system at Montgomery County Infirmary, as well as a broken loop at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil.

In addition, there were no working loop systems in certain places at Neath Port Talbot Hospital and Wrexham Maelor, meaning patients with hearing loss may not have been able to access the best possible care for their needs.

One such individual who has had a bad experience with hospital hearing loops is Megan Rennoldson, who expressed her frustrations at having to feel like she was 'living in a different world' when trying to access care services.

Director of Action on Hearing Loss Cymru Richard Williams stated that improvements are not being made with regard to the treatment of deaf patients, but this needs to happen as soon as possible to ensure they get the care they deserve from the NHS.

Mr Williams added the health and safety of individuals with hearing loss could be put at serious risk due to them not being able to access information adequately in important hospital areas, such as accident and emergency departments, day theatres and main reception points.

Expert Opinion
Hearing loss can be extremely frustrating for the individual, as well as their family, friends and colleagues. Therefore, it is vital those suffering with hearing loss are given the best possible standard of care and treatment.

“However, the latest reports indicate that those suffering with hearing loss in Wales are not getting the help and support they require. It is important that this is investigated by the Trust to find out why these people were provided with inadequate care and the issue is resolved as soon as possible to ensure the impact of hearing loss on patients is reduced and they are given access to the information they need.”
Julie Lewis, Partner