The problems of the outsourcing of interpreter provision by the NHS since 2010 have affected Deaf people’s access to quality interpreter provision. This an issue that has been ongoing for years which outsourcing to spoken language interpreting agencies, who have little regard for the use of NRCPD registered Interpreters, has exacerbated.
The recent survey by Deaf organisations showed that 41% of respondents had left an appointment confused about their condition because they couldn’t understand what was signed and 57% had left an appointment confused about how to take medication because no Sign Language Interpreter had been provided.
The government and statutory organisations are ignoring their legal duties under the Equality Act 2010, and Deaf people aren’t receiving appropriate access to health care.
A petition has been launched to mark Deaf Awareness Week, 7th – 13th May, and to highlight the issue of untrained and inappropriate people being used to communicate for health care services rather than Interpreters registered with the NRCPD which proves they’ve reached the required standard of training and are recognised as professionals working with the Deaf community.
Some agencies, which evidence suggests will happily put someone with a basic sign language qualification into a hospital assignment, are either not being monitored effectively or this is lip service. A way for health care providers to think they’ve met their duties under The Equality Act.
Please sign the petition below if you haven’t already and spread the word.