NHS still struggling with legal compliance.

  • Communication failures fatal?
  • NHS ignores the law?
  • Who takes responsibility?

The media is full of stories about deaths because patients are not being given food or water. How many others have died because they never got information about their conditions, treatment or tests (the Chief Medical Officer’s report last year revealed the high risk for those of us with sight or hearing difficulties).

Thankfully, support from the E-Access Bulletin (http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=1280) is encouraging the NHS to make sure that every one of us get the information we need.

I blogged about this last summer when the Standard was issued (xx insert link). Since then, my personal experience is that one request may not be enough to get them to change their ways. Despite asking for information by e-mail, I still get letters that would force me to share my medical information with whoever can read them to me – letters from both Moorfields eye hospital Chief Executive and someone who wants to send me a bowel cancer kit! (And heaven only knows how a blind person is supposed to capture the sample!).

Hopefully, the far-reaching E-Access Bulletin article will encourage more people to ask their GPs and hospitals to make the changes that are years overdue. It really isn’t difficult or expensive.

Meanwhile, I’m writing to the NHS Chief Executive – surely he has someone responsible for all of this and doesn’t expect those of us who already have communication barriers to complain to each and every part of his organisation that is failing?

Penny Melville-Brown OBE

Disability Dynamics ltd www.disabilitydynamics.co.uk

Helping disabled people to work since 2000

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