Wednesday, 29 March 2017
29 March 2017
Today South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust (SWLSTG) welcomed members of the London Health Assembly Committee to meet with staff and service users at our deaf specialist services.
The London Assembly Health Committee is investigating mental health and how marginalised groups in London, like Deaf people, access mental health services. The Trust showcased to the committee how its staff and services have adapted to support deaf people as well as discussing the difficulties deaf adults and children have faced in accessing mental health care in the past.
As well as featuring unique specialist deaf services across London our Trust also is the home of Cornerhouse, a six-bed national specialist assessment and treatment unit for deaf children and adolescents up to their 18th birthday, with severe complex emotional and psychological problems.
Following the review into access for mental health services for deaf people, the Trust is working alongside the London Health Assembly to provide an insight into the challenges facing the deaf community.
Trust Chief Executive David Bradley said:
“We were delighted to welcome members of the London Assembly Health Committee to our site and show them the innovative services we have available for the deaf community. It is so important that all health services work together to improve access for Deaf patients and improve accessibility to mental health across London.
“Our Trust is proud to have been the first mental health service to be awarded and sign the British Deaf Association’s British Sign Language (BSL) Charter.
“We pride ourselves on delivering innovative new ways to improve accessibility for our Deaf community and hope we can work with partners across London to make services more accessible for this community and continue to improve mental health care for Deaf people.”
A deaf service user shared her experience of being treated on Bluebell ward which treats adults with mental illness and mental health problems. It is staffed by a multi-disciplinary team and both deaf and hearing staff is proficient in BSL.
“Bluebell ward is the most perfect service for me as I can communicate effectively with staff – it has worked far better for me then a mainstream hospital.” she said.
At SWLSTG our national deaf services provides a range of comprehensive mental health services for deaf adults, children and their families. The hospital provides assessment, treatment and interventions for a full range of mental illnesses, for adults with severe to profound hearing loss. It is also the base for the National Deaf Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).