1:00pm Tuesday 10th December 2013 in Letters
MARK Drakeford this week launched new guidelines to facilitate deaf and HI patients access to Wales NHS, some would say better late than never, but they would be hearing patients not deaf ones. What he then said in less than small print was any access for a deaf patient was subject to the “reasonable” clause of the guidelines, based on a seven year out of date report, in effect any NHS trust in Wales can now say we refuse to offer a patient with hearing loss access to a doctor, a clinic, or, to a hospital for treatment, as that is an unreasonable request. I understand a deaf group is taking legal advice on the grounds the Welsh Assembly was openly violating three major access and equality, as well as human rights laws. Deaf object to the word “guideline” being inserted to block a legal right, in fact access is written into the NHS charter, unconditionally. Given the NHS in Wales is only operating via agency workers and freelance locums from Europe anyway, Mr Drakeford has no legal power to make them provide access, it’s an utter discriminatory shambles, we are waiting for the deaf to die before they will act. Mervyn James Kensington Grove Newport
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