RCGP publishes toolkit to support GPs deliver care to deaf patients

The Royal College of GPs has launched a new toolkit to support GPs to deliver care for patients with hearing loss.

The toolkit aims to encourage deaf patients to access primary care, and to offer guidelines on how to recognise early symptoms of hearing loss and how to refer patients for a hearing assessment.

The educational kit, developed by Royal College of GPs (RCGP) is in collaboration with the UK’s largest hearing loss charity, RNID and NHS England and Improvement.

RCGP said: “In a recent survey of people who were deaf or have hearing loss by RNID, more than 70 per cent of respondents said they ‘did not feel confident that their communication needs would be met during a remote appointment’ and over half admitted they had ‘put off’ seeking advice from their GP because of remote care, meaning they were at risk of missing out on vital medical care.”

Professor Martin Marshall, Chair at Royal College of GPs said: “GPs and our teams have worked hard during the pandemic to swiftly transform the way we deliver services to ensure continued access to safe care.”

“Remote care will of course not be suitable for all patients – and in these circumstances, face to face appointments are being facilitated in as safe a way as possible.  We do not want patients to be deterred from seeking care because they are unable or uncomfortable accessing our services remotely – something that this survey shows, is the case for a significant number of deaf patients.”

Dr Devina Maru, RCGP National Clinical Champion for Deafness and Hearing Loss said: “We are pleased to be working with the RNID to create resources to help support GPs communicate with deaf patients during both remote and face to face consultations, to ensure GPs feel equipped to deliver the best possible care and patients feel most comfortable when accessing our services.”

Find out more about the Deafness and hearing loss toolkit.