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My NHS Story

I regularly end up needing to go to the hospital,

I get injured and sometimes even get sick quite frequently and as a Deaf and disabled person with more than a few different health conditions and needs it is very difficult to explain it all to every paramedic, nurse or doctor who attends to me and most of the time I spend more time explaining my disability which then delays treatment/ diagnosis.

I am profoundly deaf but, I grew up oral and not using sign language, as a result I relied on speech and lipreading - but over the years communication grew harder and harder due to my worsening eyesight as well as my hearing loss getting worse - I became dependant on interpreters and/or asking people to write down what they wanted to say.

So going to hospital or speaking to medical personnel was frustrating and difficult - with many misunderstandings along the way.

When I received my hospital passport for the very first time, I had no idea how much it would help me.

Shortly after getting it, I was faced with a situation where I needed it.

I had gone out for the day with a friend to Kew Gardens, whilst there I’d had a bad fall and had to be driven to hospital.

When I arrived at A&E I showed them the card, it was so easy - they read it and had all the information they needed and I was quickly taken through to be checked over.

Then, when the nurse came in to ask me questions I told her about my passport which when she had it, made all the questions easier - and they even tried to communicate with me using the signs inside the book!

I was a lot more relaxed and at ease thanks to the passport, because it is hugely frustrating trying to explain everything.

And also, because of some new recent diagnosis’s at the time it was more concerning, so that was something I had to make sure the nurses and doctors knew about.

Ever since then, my visits to the hospital for emergencies are a lot smoother because they are able to get the main information out of the way and focus on the actual problem.

Doctors, nurses and paramedics when I show them the passport - are very pleased with it and comment on how it is such a great idea and a big help.

I have experienced easier communication and more ease in getting assistance quickly and when people read the ‘how to communicate’ section and follow the instructions there it really helps reduce anxiety and stress.

Now I carry it everywhere with me, because I am prone to falls and often get unwell whilst out - it’s been a real help.

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