Deaf bricklayer Jack Sturdy speaks of health-care snubs

Jack Sturdy and his fiancée, Charlotte

Jack Sturdy and his fiancée, Charlotte

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by

A DEAF man from York has told how he has struggled to get fair access to health care in the city.

Jack Sturdy, 27, who works as a bricklayer, said he had been left waiting for appointments after not hearing his name called without a visual indicator.

He has to take his fiancée or mother to appointments due to a lack of available sign language interpreters.

Once, his mother said it was suggested he should wear a bright anorak to his GP surgery so staff would know he was deaf.

Jack spoke out after Healthwatch York revealed a catalogue of failures to give deaf people fair access to health care in York, as reported in The Press.

Speaking about his missed appointments at the ear, nose And throat department at York Hospital, Jack said: “I’ve always watched out for them and tried to lipread when they called out, but they talk too fast so I miss it or they had their papers covering their mouth.

“They always go away as quickly as they came in, with or without patients.

“I had to ask my mum to come with me to every appointment so she can tap me to tell me I’m ready to go in. I’m not happy because I feel that I’m old enough to be independent.”

Jack, who attended St John’s School For The Deaf in Boston Spa and York College, said one doctor spoke to his fiancée, Charlotte, who is also deaf but can hear with the aid of an implanted hearing aid, as if he was not in the room.

He said since Charlotte is not a trained British Sign Language interpreter she can struggle to translate medical terms.

Loreto Sturdy, Jack’s mum, said the treatment was “totally unacceptable”.

She said: “We’re are not asking everyone to sign but we need the staff to be more deaf-aware.”

A spokeswoman for Haxby Group, which runs Haxby and Wigginton GP surgery, attended by Jack, said it was sorry to hear about the concerns but had no record of a complaint.

She said: “Once we are aware a patient suffers from hearing loss, their records have the appropriate advice added.

“All our patients are collected by their doctor or nurse personally from the waiting room and escorted to the clinic room. “The note that the patient is deaf ensures that our staff know they will have to approach the patient and not just call them. We do not use an automatic patient call system.”

They said the surgery used an online system, giving access to sign language interpreters.

A spokeswoman for York Hospital said British Sign Language was its most widely provided translation service and its protocol was to provide a qualified interpreter for patients who needed one.

She said over the past year it had staff dedicated to monitoring and improving interpretation services and the hospital had formed an Access To Services group to look at accessibility.

Comments (7)

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9:41am Tue 18 Feb 14

roskoboskovic says...

if you are an immigrant wanting to claim benefits yet speaking no english you are entiled to get an interpretor.welcome to life in modern britain.
if you are an immigrant wanting to claim benefits yet speaking no english you are entiled to get an interpretor.welcome to life in modern britain. roskoboskovic
  • Score: -15

11:16am Tue 18 Feb 14

eeoodares says...

roskoboskovic wrote:
if you are an immigrant wanting to claim benefits yet speaking no english you are entiled to get an interpretor.welcome to life in modern britain.
By the sounds of it, the hospital and the surgery provide the services required. Nowadays it seems that if you have a problem your first port of call is the Press.
[quote][p][bold]roskoboskovic[/bold] wrote: if you are an immigrant wanting to claim benefits yet speaking no english you are entiled to get an interpretor.welcome to life in modern britain.[/p][/quote]By the sounds of it, the hospital and the surgery provide the services required. Nowadays it seems that if you have a problem your first port of call is the Press. eeoodares
  • Score: -12

12:09pm Tue 18 Feb 14

maesturdy11 says...

A complait was logged at the doctors and the press actually contacted us not tge other way round. Haxby doctors has no internet interpreter and uf they have ny brotger has NEVER been offered one at the doctors or the hospita. If you were wheelchair bound it would be seen as disguisting to not be able to enter and attend your appointment due to no accessovle ramps so why should my profoundly deaf brother have to miss appointments due to doctors of my wandering in shouting his name n wandering back out. Im extremely proud of my brother for what he has achieved in this ignorant world l, he is a credit to the deaf society and should not be made to feel belittled by having to attend appointments with his mother. He pays his way in life amd has wotled dince leaving college and deserves the same respect you and i recieve from the nhs not made to feel 2nd class.
A complait was logged at the doctors and the press actually contacted us not tge other way round. Haxby doctors has no internet interpreter and uf they have ny brotger has NEVER been offered one at the doctors or the hospita. If you were wheelchair bound it would be seen as disguisting to not be able to enter and attend your appointment due to no accessovle ramps so why should my profoundly deaf brother have to miss appointments due to doctors of my wandering in shouting his name n wandering back out. Im extremely proud of my brother for what he has achieved in this ignorant world l, he is a credit to the deaf society and should not be made to feel belittled by having to attend appointments with his mother. He pays his way in life amd has wotled dince leaving college and deserves the same respect you and i recieve from the nhs not made to feel 2nd class. maesturdy11
  • Score: 28

3:07pm Tue 18 Feb 14

PKH says...

The ear, nose and throat department at the hospital deals with deaf people so the ear clinic should be geared up to 'call' death people in an appropriate manner.
The ear, nose and throat department at the hospital deals with deaf people so the ear clinic should be geared up to 'call' death people in an appropriate manner. PKH
  • Score: 9

3:11pm Tue 18 Feb 14

PKH says...

I have a mother who in old age became profoundly deaf, so these days I accompany her for medical appointments with a notebook and pen otherwise she would be unable to cope.
I have a mother who in old age became profoundly deaf, so these days I accompany her for medical appointments with a notebook and pen otherwise she would be unable to cope. PKH
  • Score: 0

4:46pm Tue 18 Feb 14

National Deaf Children's Society says...

Sadly Jack’s experience is not uncommon. The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) has heard from deaf young people across the UK who have said they too struggle when it comes to accessing health care. Poor deaf awareness amongst health care professionals and a lack of deaf friendly services, such as being able to book appointments by text message, is resulting in deaf people being less independent. More worryingly, it can also mean they miss appointments or do not understand the information given to them by their GP. NDCS recently launched My life, My health, a campaign that raises awareness of the issue and provides deaf young people, their parents and health care professionals with a range of resources to help deaf teenagers get the health care they need. Find out more at ndcs.org.uk/mylifemy
health
Sadly Jack’s experience is not uncommon. The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) has heard from deaf young people across the UK who have said they too struggle when it comes to accessing health care. Poor deaf awareness amongst health care professionals and a lack of deaf friendly services, such as being able to book appointments by text message, is resulting in deaf people being less independent. More worryingly, it can also mean they miss appointments or do not understand the information given to them by their GP. NDCS recently launched My life, My health, a campaign that raises awareness of the issue and provides deaf young people, their parents and health care professionals with a range of resources to help deaf teenagers get the health care they need. Find out more at ndcs.org.uk/mylifemy health National Deaf Children's Society
  • Score: 5

9:56pm Sun 2 Mar 14

SB Dubs says...

eeoodares wrote:
roskoboskovic wrote:
if you are an immigrant wanting to claim benefits yet speaking no english you are entiled to get an interpretor.welcome to life in modern britain.
By the sounds of it, the hospital and the surgery provide the services required. Nowadays it seems that if you have a problem your first port of call is the Press.
Ignorant and insensitive.
[quote][p][bold]eeoodares[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]roskoboskovic[/bold] wrote: if you are an immigrant wanting to claim benefits yet speaking no english you are entiled to get an interpretor.welcome to life in modern britain.[/p][/quote]By the sounds of it, the hospital and the surgery provide the services required. Nowadays it seems that if you have a problem your first port of call is the Press.[/p][/quote]Ignorant and insensitive. SB Dubs
  • Score: 1

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