Deaf-blind People (Hansard, 16 January 1997)
HC Deb 16 January 1997 vol 288 cc331-2W
Mr. Alfred Morris

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many general practitioners are able to provide communication support to deaf-blind patients. [9472]

Mr. Malone

This information is not available centrally.

Mr. Morris

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what training ambulance paramedics receive in communicating and making contact with deaf-blind people. [9473]

Mr. Malone

Ambulance paramedics do not receive specific training in communicating with deaf-blind people but are trained in communicating with, and handling, deaf people and blind people. They are trained to have good communication skills with all types of patients and trained in how to deal with patients sensitively.

Mr. Morris

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many community care assessments have been made by local authorities in England and Wales under the Carers Recognition and Services Act 1995 for carers of deaf-blind children and adults since 1 April 1995. [9475]

Mr. Burns

This information is not collected centrally.

Mr. Morris

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he has taken to develop and expand the communicator guide service within local authorities for deaf-blind people. [9480]

Mr. Burns

Many local authorities are developing communicator guide services for deaf-blind people, often in partnership with deaf-blind organisations. The Department of Health has sought to promote the development of these services by raising awareness of the needs of deaf-blind people, and by making grants to voluntary organisations under the section 64 general scheme.

In 1996–97, the Council for the Advancement of Communication with Deaf People received a further award for the "Touch and Go" project, which has successfully developed accredited training courses for the communicator guides, and Sense and the Royal National Institute for the Blind are receiving project grants to develop communicator guide schemes. Deaf-blind United Kingdom and Sense—the National Deaf-blind and Rubella Association—both receive core funding under the section 64 scheme.

In seeking to promote awareness of deaf-blindness, the Department of Health works closely with the Association of Directors of Social Services. Particularly significant are the "Think Dual Sensory" draft good practice guidelines for social services and health professionals who provide or commission services for the increasing number of older people with dual sensory loss. The guidelines are currently being piloted in several local authorities.

GLOBAL ISLES COURT OF RECORD