LPT signs British Sign Language Charter commitment

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) is the first local health trust to sign up to support BDA's British Sign Language Charter.

The signing, which took place yesterday (Wednesday April 8) is part of a commitment by the Trust, which provides community health, mental health and learning disability services for a population of a million people across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, to ensure everyone has good access to high quality services. 

By signing up to the Charter the Trust has shown a commitment and started the process to:

  • remove any barriers faced by deaf people to provide better access to services,
  • increase staff awareness of the needs for deaf people,
  • ensure it provides translation services that improve- access to NHS services;
  • And commit to providing better educational options for deaf children across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

The Charter was signed at 10.00am by Dr Peter Miller, Chief Executive of LPT and Alan Duffel, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development in the presence of The British Deaf Association, local deaf community and Healthwatch members.

The Charter, which has been developed by The British Deaf Association, aims to gain equality for deaf people as well as working with organisations like LPT who are committed to providing better access to public services for deaf people and their communities. The Charter also supports organisations to meet their legislative duties under the Equality Act 2010.

The Trust will implement the five pledges from the Charter over the next five years, aiming to improve access to healthcare.

Dr Miller said: “Signing the Charter is a clear demonstration of my personal commitment and that of the Trust to ensure patients and service are at the heart of our decision-making and our services are accessible for all.

“We will now work through the pledges with staff across the Trust to make services accessible for the deaf community. We will do our best to ensure this commitment is embedded in each area of our work.”

Dr Terry Riley OBE, Chair of the British Deaf Association, said: “As Chair of the British Deaf Association I command LPT for this unique partnership which will not only empower local deaf people but also lead to a better quality of life. This new partnership and signing of the BSL Charter is a first by a local health trust. We hope that other trusts will follow the example set by LPT.”

For more information on the Trust’s visit www.leicspart.nhs.uk

*The five pledges are outlined below:

Year Pledge
2015/16           Pledge 1: Ensure access for deaf people to information and services
2016/17 Pledge 2: Promote learning and high quality teaching of BSL
2017/18 Pledge 3: Support deaf children and families
2018/19 Pledge 4: Ensure staff working with deaf people can communicate effectively in BSL
2019/20 Pledge 5: Consult with our deaf community on a regular basis