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Looking directly at a person, being aware of surrounding noises and speaking clearly without obstruction are some of the simplest ways to improve communication with hearing impaired or Deaf people.
Redland Hospital launched the Be Heard: Safe Communication @ Redland Hospital campaign in October last year to improve understanding of Deaf people or those living with a hearing impairment and to educate staff on simple measures that can be taken to improve communication.
Executive Director Allied Health Gail Gordon said consumer representatives had helped lead the project with involved a number of initiatives including department audits to identify strategies and supports for hearing impaired consumers.
Consumer committee representative Shirley Edwards said people with hearing impairments often required different types of assistance.
She said only some people were able to lip read and not everyone understood sign language.
She said the Be Heard initiative was a huge step forward for Redland Hospital.
Fellow consumer committee member Jill Lindley said she was extremely pleased Redland Hospital was addressing such an important issue.
“Sometimes writing down information instead of speaking can be far more effective for a person who has a hearing impairment,” she said.
Redland Hospital Workforce Manager Liz Piper-Cruickshank said life with 85 per cent hearing loss had become the norm for her over the last four years and that communicating effectively with people with a hearing impairment was critical.
She said hearing loss often made it more difficult to access the same services as hearing people and that Be Heard was a step in the right direction.