26th September 2017


Please read for details of our next forum meeting.  It will take place on 26th September 2017, and continues the Health & Social Care theme from the last event on 7th June.

Maggie Collins of Healthwatch Worcestershire and Ravi Bhakhri of Sandwell County Council are our guest speakers, and will be presenting issues on deafness in health & social care settings, and changes in sensory services since the implementation of the Care Act 2014.

It will take place at Sandwell Council Chambers, Freeth Street, Oldbury, B69 3DB from 9.30am to 12.30pm. Refreshments will be provided. Two British Sign Language interpreters will be present.

Maggie Collins is an Engagement Officer for Healthwatch Worcestershire and is the lead for Local Government, Sensory Impairment, Urgent Care and South Worcestershire and will present on the work done to improve access for deaf and hard of hearing patients and service users. From 31 July 2016, all organisations that provide NHS care or adult social care are legally required to follow the Accessible Information Standard. The standard aims to make sure that people who have a disability, impairment or sensory loss are provided with information that they can easily read or understand with support so they can communicate effectively with health and social care services. Effective implementation will require health and social care organisations to make changes to policy, procedure, human behaviour and, where applicable, electronic systems. We will explore what this will mean for deaf patients and service users and what to do if the standard is not being met.

Ravi Bhakhri will be presenting in his capacity as Social Care Lead for Sensory, Sandwell MBC. He is also involved on the board of several bodies including NHS Foundation Trust. His presentation will focus on the changes in services pre & post Care Act, the reasons behind the changes, the way forward and possible outcomes.

The last event was on 7th June at Walsall Deaf Centre and extremely successful with a presentation on the Care Act and how to adapt social care assessments for deaf blind clients by Isabel Reid and Alison France of SSOTP NHS Trust. Mary-Jayne Russell de Clifford of Deaf Direct also shared information about Tablets 4 Health, a new initiative looking at the use of technology in improving health for deaf people.

The chair of MRAD is Philip Gerrard, current CEO of Deaf Action and previous CEO for Deaf Direct.

If you are interested in attending our next event on 26th September, please email midlandsdeafprofessionals@gmail.com

There will be another MRAD forum meeting on 28th November 2017. If you wish to register your interest for this event, please contact us at the email address above.

In the meantime, please feel free to follow us on Twitter at @midlandsdeafpr1 and subscribe to updates from our website at http://www.mrad.org.uk/. Share with anyone you feel would benefit from attending MRAD!