A TEENAGER is urging GPs and surgeries to be more aware as part of a new health campaign launched by the National Deaf Children’s Society.
Adam Churchman, 16, who attends the Academy at Shotton Hall, Peterlee, is a member of the National Deaf Children’s Society’s Young People’s Advisory Board - a group of 17 deaf young people from around the UK.
Adam, from Wingate, and the group have worked with the charity to create My life, My health, a campaign to help deaf teenagers get the health support they need.
More than 200 deaf children and young people from across the UK were consulted to find out about their experiences of using health services, including visiting their GP. Findings, published in a new report, suggest there is a lack of deaf awareness in GP surgeries.
Adam believes deaf teenagers face a lot of challenges when it comes to visiting their GP and said: “Being a teenager can be difficult enough, but for many deaf teenagers like me it can be even more challenging if we can’t access services that other teenagers often take for granted, like booking a GP appointment over the phone.
“I go to the GP with my with my parents and my mum has to book my appointments for me, I would like to be able to do it over email. I hope the campaign will help GPs and other staff become more deaf aware and help deaf teenagers feel more welcome when they need to visit their surgery.”
Lucy Read, head of children and young people’s participation at the society, said: “Deaf young people like Adam have the right to high quality, accessible health care. Our findings indicate that a lack of accessible services means deaf teenagers often struggle to understand what is happening to them during an appointment, or they are forced to rely on their families to access basic information about their own health, even into adulthood.”
More information about My life, My health can be found by logging onto ndcs.org.uk/mylifemyhealth.