Patients in need of an ambulance are being given additional communication support, thanks to the launch of a new guide.
North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (NEAS) daily responds to thousands of patients across the region, of which many face communication barriers, such as a hearing impairment or little understanding of the English language.
To make access to services as open as possible, and to support frontline clinicians is negotiating such barriers, NEAS has developed an interactive online tool, which contains easy to understand pictures for common ailments to allow patients to show the clinician what is wrong and, in turn, allow the clinician to show patient what they are doing and why, and what will happen next.
The guide also provides direct access to interpreters and contains guidance for communicating with patients with specific needs, such as visually impaired and deaf blind patients, as well as basic information about customs relating to entering homes, treatment and death for some faith groups.
NEAS is believed to be the first ambulance services in the country to produce such a guide.