"Lack of BSL interpreter"

About: Tameside General Hospital / General medicine

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

This story has been posted by Healthwatch Tameside on behalf of a member of the public. We have their details and will forward any comments to them. They said…

A Deaf gentleman attended A & E at Tameside Hospital on Sunday with an arm which was visibly swelling up and painful. He was admitted to a bed in the surgical ward. Since that time, he has been scared – he has not known what was wrong with him, what treatment he was receiving, or what the medication was for.

A BSL interpreter has only attended once in 4 days (yesterday), after he texted someone he knew to ask for help. A notice was put on the wall next to his bed stating that he lip-reads and needs to be talked to face-to-face. This is not the case. He does not lip-read and needs a BSL interpreter. He doesn’t understand written words, and staff tried to communicate in writing.

He has been visited by friends who are also Deaf, and who were shocked to see what was happening. As they also need interpreters, they felt powerless to help. Deaf people in Tameside have a card (provided by the Deaf Club) they can take to hospital stating they are Deaf and need an interpreter. This has contact details on it for LIPS. He says he showed it to staff.

He is expecting to be discharged today, and is hoping an interpreter will be arranged so he understands what is, and has been, happening.

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Response from Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

We are really sorry your service user has had cause to raise this concern with Healthwatch.

We have ensured all our Matron’s have had this issue brought to their attention to address.

If you would ask the service user to contact the Pals and Complaints with further details on 0161 922 4466 or email palsandcomplaints@tgh.nhs.uk so that we can arrange for this to be looked into.