Last month the Postgrad team attended a Deaf Awareness workshop as part of our Trust’s Equality and Diversity Week. We went to learn about how to support members of staff who have hearing difficulties, but also to see if we could contribute as one of us was born with unilateral neural deafness.
It was an excellent event where we met people with the same condition as our team member, and learnt a great deal. More importantly, we had an unexpected networking opportunity.
At the workshop, we met the inspirational Lesley Chan – mother, midwife at CMFT and champion for multi-sensory impaired children. Lesley was a dental nurse but retrained as a midwife after her daughter Amelie’s traumatic birth.
Amelie, who is now nine years old, has had 22 operations. She has no hearing nerves, so she will never hear sounds or speak, and she is partially sighted. She also needs 24/7 nursing care. Amelie and Lesley designed a board to explain the basics of sign-language to staff, and want to continue their work educating clinicians. Lesley made a pledge during NHS Change Day which was widely publicised.
You can view their short video story here – its well worth a watch and made us think about what the Postgrad team could do to help.
Lesley’s mission is to raise awareness of simple sign language amongst clinicians to help communication with patients old and young alike. Thanks to our Foundation Team, we are able to invite Lesley to be a part of our formal teaching programme for Foundation Doctors to showcase her work. We plan to provide an engaging teaching session for trainees that is interactive with some simple health care signs that are universal, fun and easy to learn.