The health board has won two awards for its work with people with hearing loss –  the 5 Star People’s Award hosted by Wales Council for Deaf People and Wales Council for the Blind, and an Action on Hearing Loss Award.

Dr Ian Morris of Taffs Well Medical Centre won the 5 Star People’s award after being nominated by a deaf patient for ‘going that extra mile’ by booking appointments at the end of the day so he can spend more time with him. He has also given his mobile number to the patient so that he can make appointments directly with him.

Dr Morris said:  ‘I was very pleased and surprised to receive the award. I have always tried my best to help and accommodate my patients with any disability they may have.

“I try to see the patient who nominated me at the end of surgery to give us more time. We have consultations with a third person who signs but also use lip reading and written information.

“I think the thing we do that makes the most difference is we have a dedicated mobile phone which our deaf patients can text for appointments.

“It was very rewarding to receive this award’.

The second was an Action On Hearing Loss award, which rewards health organisations for ensuring that deaf people are supported when ill or facing health-related issues.

The award was won for work undertaken in supplying hearing equipment to wards and departments throughout secondary care which helps people to communicate effectively with health professionals thus ensuring dignity and confidentiality.

The equipment can be used by hard of hearing patients who wear hearing aids and also by those who do not.   Given that 20% of people have impaired hearing and up to 70% of people aged over 70 have sensory loss this can make a real difference to our patients.

Glenys Jones, sensory loss project manager has trained key staff in each area and provided information packs on how to use the equipment and how to communicate with people who have difficulty hearing.  The patient feedback has been amazing.

Lindsay Richards, Macmillan Colorectal Oncology CNS said: “I just wanted to provide some feedback in regards to the Sonido Digital Listener.

“I have managed to use this fabulous piece of kit with a patient on the ward when having to break bad news and with patients in clinic during diagnosis and treatment planning.

“I feel this kit has made a huge difference to the patients in relation to being able to understand/hear what they are being told, thus allowing them to interact with the conversation and ask questions.

“I feel it has helped patients to make informed choices and give informed consent, thus improving their outcomes.  We could use it for clinic and ward reviews especially with the types of life changing conversations we need to hold with our patients.”

Equality Manager, Liz Jenkins said: “This equipment is making a real difference and soon we hope to be able to help our patients with this equipment anywhere they go within our services so that they can communicate as well as possible with our staff.

“We hope that staff will offer the equipment to any patient that needs it and that patients will ask for it so it is used as much as possible’.

We are currently rolling out equipment to GP surgeries followed by dental practices in the autumn.

To find out more about the project please contact [email protected]