It has been recognised that clinicians with hearing loss are facing increasing difficulty due to the requirement to wear face masks in clinic. As such, the following is intended as an addendum to the Reasonable Adjustments document with the aim of providing more specific and prescriptive advice and suggestions for clinicians and departments. The following is not an exhaustive list, but merely a collection of ideas from other clinicians and departments.
- Adapting communication methods by utilisation of speech to text apps on a tablet or laptop (more info in the BAA Remote Working Guidance).
- Ensuring that there is consistent access to devices supporting point 1 for clinicians requiring this adjustment.
- Allowing longer appointment times in order to support adapted communication methods and reduce clinician fatigue.
- Provision of clear face masks for patients (where allowed by individual trusts*)
- Ensuring that hearing aid and ALD provision is adequate.
- Ensuring that virtual team meetings are accessible and every effort is made to reduce background noise (further information https://louderthanwords.org.uk/help-employees-with-hearing-loss-stay-connected-during-covid-19/), but some suggestions may be:
- Speech to text captions available
- Ensuring the speaker is visible, i.e camera turned on (to enable lipreading)
- Using the hands up function to enable one person speaks at once
- Ensuring all microphones (other than the current speaker) are muted
*The use of clear facemasks does not appear to be universal across trusts, and so this would need to be checked with your local trust before being used as an adjustment.
Download pdf> Reasonable Adjustments Addendum