The BBC report that Health boards in Wales are breaching the law by not providing accessible services for the deaf and hard of hearing.
They say that the seven health boards should have published policies about improving access to services in December but none of them have done so. As a result the director of Action on Hearing Loss Cymru said they were not meeting legal obligations from the Equality Act. But the health boards said they are striving to improve access for the deaf and hard of hearing:
Meanwhile, a separate report shows that 90% of GPs in Wales are failing to provide reasonable alternative methods for deaf people to book appointments.
The Equality Act 2010 says that if someone is at a substantial disadvantage of accessing services because of a disability, reasonable adjustments must be made to allow access.
The director of Action on Hearing Loss Cymru Richard Williams said health boards were failing to meet that legal obligation.
“Hearing people don’t have to walk to the GP’s surgery to book an appointment or ask others to call on their behalf. If you can’t use the phone it’s a considerable hurdle to booking an appointment,” he said.
“I don’t think it’s reasonable that deaf and hard of hearing people have to wait for access and that they are treated differently from others in how they access services.
“If you sat anyone from the health service down and explained the difficulties, none of them would be able to justify why that’s the case.”