DEAF people in Dudley can now get a useful card to help services they use to identify their communication needs.

The business-style card has been developed by Healthwatch Dudley in collaboration with Dudley CCG, The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust and Dudley Council.

They were launched at the Dudley Sign Café, based at the Queens Cross Network in Wellington Road today (May 16) as part of Deaf Awareness Week, which runs until May 21.

The card will make sure all people are able to effectively communicate that they are deaf or hearing impaired and how they best communicate.

Dr David Hegarty, GP and chairman of Dudley CCG, said: “We are committed to making sure all patients in Dudley receive excellent healthcare, and we know that to do this it is important to make sure the right support is put in place at for every patient, at every appointment.

“Deaf people can now show this card before their appointments to make sure their healthcare professional is prepared and able to support them with an interpreter or communicate with them in a way that best suits them.”

He continued: “Most people do not realise that for many deaf people, English is not their first language. It must be very difficult having to sit through a medical appointment if you cannot understand what is being said to you.”

“This simple card will give deaf people the confidence to feel in control of their own healthcare and help them communicate with all healthcare professionals in Dudley.”

Dudley Deaf Focus Group member, Peter Berridge added: “It’s great that organisations are working together to support us and it’s really exciting to be part of making positive things happen for people who are deaf or hearing impaired.

"These cards will really help us, not only at health appointments but every day when we use public transport, go shopping or when we are on holiday.”

People can apply for a free card by contacting The Deaf Support Service by calling 01384 813462 (telephone), 01384 230025 (minicom), 07779434717 (text phone) or emailing