Primary care services are the front door to the NHS - they are the first port of call when we feel unwell and the main coordinator of care when we are living with health conditions. The primary care team have an important role in making people feel welcomed, listened to and taken seriously.
Yet, at National Voices, we often hear examples about people who have not had their communication needs met within primary care. This includes people with sensory impairments, people with learning disabilities, autistic people, people living with dementia, people who don’t speak English fluently, people with low or no literacy, people who are digitally excluded, people living nomadically, people experiencing homelessness and many others.
As just one example, five years after the launch of the Accessible Information Standard, 67 per cent of Deaf people reported that still no accessible method of contacting their General Practice had been made available to them (Signhealth, 2021).
This report sets out the key issues faced by people with specific communication needs within primary care and what they feel would make the biggest difference, as well as key actions primary care leaders and teams can take to support inclusive communication.
An easy read version of this report is available here.
A plain text version of this report is available here.
The Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and the UK Health Security Agency have provided a grant through the VCSE Health and Wellbeing Alliance for our independent work on accessible and inclusive communication within primary care.