When you ask for something repeatedly that you truly deserve, and still you don't get it, it's very easy to become completely discouraged. To lose faith that people really do have your best interests at heart.
Last night, Trusty Camerawoman put a tweet out about my blog and NHS campaign and another twitter follower questioned whether I was simply wasting my time.
They weren't being mean or horrible, they were just utterly jaded by their own experiences of not seeing deaf services improved.
As I'm learning at the moment, change takes time, but if the right people have a willingness to change or indeed the power to make that change, then you're halfway there.
One of the outcomes of my meeting with CLCH is that they recognise that Walk-in Centres need some sort of alert system, such as a vibrating pager for deaf and hard-of-hearing people so they know when their name is being called. This is a brilliant idea and, when it eventually happens, or something similar is installed, it will make things much easier.
In the meantime however, and as a result of my feedback, it has been arranged that signs will be put on the front desks of the Walk-in centres letting people know that if they require any assistance, it will be gladly given.
The example given in writing on the sign is that hard of hearing and deaf people will be personally alerted by the nurse, doctor or receptionist. Instead of having having your name called out, someone will come to the chair you are sitting in and let you know it's your turn. Further more, the CLCH are also looking at getting the booking-in form changed so you can put any assistance needs on here, too.
The CLCH recognises that this is not a permanent solution, and for some it might not even be an attractive solution in the interim. I personally think it's brilliant. It means that should I go to a Walk-in centre again, I will find the whole experience much less stressful. I will be able to read my book and play on my phone to pass the waiting time safe in the knowledge that when it's my turn, someone will let me know.
It's amazing to see that less than one week after my meeting, change is happening. Wheels are in motion for much bigger changes and over time I'm going to flipping well make sure they happen, too.
But like I said, my aim is not to create a DG-friendly NHS so all feedback is appreciated.
I've had some really interesting stuff so far such as BSL-trained doctors – wouldn't it be amazing if BSL 1 with extra medical signs was part of a medical or nursing degree? I've also had some feedback on the lack of availability of deaf/blind interpreters at a big London hospital.
Keep it coming peeps and if you see the Walk-in centre sign, let me know what you think, if it worked and whether it made things less stressful for you.