Michael Matheson MSP, Minister for Public Health, has responded to a number of MSPs with this letter (download a pdf here). Many people who are supporting the SCoD Lip Reading Campaign wrote to their MSPs who in turn contacted the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy, Nicola Sturgeon, or the Minister.
The main theme of the Minister’s letter is that the Scottish Government recognises that Lip Reading is an important part of the rehabilitation process for people who are deaf, but since the NHS in Scotland does not recognise lip reading as a clinical issue, it is not a health matter and so cannot be funded by health services in Scotland.
The Scottish Government may look at how lip reading classes and courses for tutors once the report on the Scottish Spending Review is published. 31st August 2011
SCoD’s Communication & Access Sub-committee met again on 25th August and discussed the lipreading campaign. They agreed that the campaign should continue until 30th September. If you have not yet sent a letter to your MSP, there is still time to do it. The template letter is available for you to download and send to your MSP. Please click here to download the template letter.
Many thanks for your support. 26th August 2011
SCoD’s Communication & Access Sub-committee discussed serious issues affecting lip reading classes, including lack of funds for training more lip reading tutors and lack of promotion of lip reading classes. We agreed to produce a letter template for deaf and hard of hearing people to copy/print and send to their MSP. If we could send MSPs as many letters as possible, they might be persuaded to ask the Scottish Government to address the lip reading issues. Please click here to download the template letter.
Many thanks for your support.
11th June 2008
The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government outlining the main issues to have arisen from the evidence taken on mental health services for deaf and deafblind people and return to the issue when the Scottish Government has considered the forthcoming proposal for specialist in-patient services in Scotland, which is anticipated to be submitted in autumn 2008. On this basis, the Committee agreed to close the petition.
Scottish Parliament Health & Sport Committee Wednesday 11th June 2008
Shona Robison (the Minister for Public Health), Dr Denise Coia (Scottish Government Principal Medical Officer—Mental Health), Philip Harley (Senior Policy Officer, Scottish Government Mental Health Division), Peter Kelly (Policy Officer, Scottish Government Adult Care and Support Division) and Dee Fraser (Policy Officer, Scottish Government Mental Health Division) attended the Committee meeting is a follow-up to the evidence session at the meeting on Wednesday 4th June 2008.
Shona Robison made the following comments in her opening remarks:
“I make it clear at the outset that I am not entirely happy with the current position, which falls short of what we would want for those affected. However, I am happy with the attention that is being given to the need for change and the response so far. Progress is being made and there is some momentum. We always aim to better integrate groups of people with communication needs, including the deaf community and others, into mainstream provision, but I have never been of the view that that should be at the cost of sensitivity to particular needs. Those are the needs within needs, if you like, which should be considered by any service planner for any care group.
You will have heard that we are, without prejudice, helping partners to prepare the case for a specialist service and a specialist unit. Partners are aware that our help does not signal that we are minded to establish such a unit and that we, like others, are keen to see and consider the evidence base before we make any decision.
The issues that we will consider are what is workable, what is pragmatic and whether what is being suggested is a specialist service, a managed care network or a hub-and-spoke model. We will also take into account specific considerations for children. I am aware of the care and continuity benefits of having their needs addressed within children's mental health services that are linked to paediatric units, but whether to have a specialist service, unit or whatever will be considered over the next few months.”
After the panel had given their comments to the Committee, the Committee then took time to consider what action to take on Petition 808.
It was decided that the Convenor, Christine Grahame, would write to:
- The Scottish Government pulling together some of the issues that were raised in evidence as it would be useful for the Committee to feed those into the work that is being done.
- The petitioners – Lilian Lawson OBE of SCoD, agreeing to return to the matter “so that they are secure in knowing that it is not kicked into the long grass”.
It was agreed that the Health & Sport Committee would close the petition—it does not go back to the Public Petitions Committee because it is live and active with this Committee. And the Committee would “maintain a watching brief” and revisit it once that business plan for a specialist unit had been completed and submitted to the Advisory Board of NHS Scotland in October 2008.
To read the official report of the meeting, go to http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/s3/committees/hs/or-08/he08-1702.htm#Col962
04 June 2008
We were called to give evidence to the Committee. Lilian Lawson OBE, Mandy Reid (Policy & Research Officer, SCoD), Willie MacFadyen (BSMHD) and Linda Sharkey (LINK Scotland) answered questions from the MSPs on the Committee. RNID, NHS Lothian, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and National Centre for Mental Health and Deafness (John Denmark Unit) gave evidence in support of the petition. SAMH submitted statement of support, and NDCS submitted a paper on mental health services for children and young people. To read more about the evidence gathering session, go to the Scottish Parliament website - http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/s3/committees/hs/or-08/he08-1602.htm#Col915
The Committee asked the Minister of Public Health, Shona Robison, to respond. The Minister sent a letter to the Committee outlining what the Scottish Government had agreed to do at the meeting with SCoD on 12th May - http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/s3/committees/hs/papers-08/hep08-17.pdf.
The Mental Health and Deaf People Task Group presented evidence to the Health & Sports Committee in the Scottish Parliament. The Royal College of Psychiatrists, Scottish Association for Mental Health, the John Denmark Unit and RNID Scotland were all invited to give evidence in support of the petition.
04 December 2007
The Committee agreed to refer the petition to the Health and Sport Committee for further consideration as part of its inquiry work on mental health services, health inequalities and balance of care and to write to the Scottish Government inviting it to keep the petitioner fully informed of the progress it is making in developing services for deaf and deafblind people.
Read the full report.
November 2007 - Written Submissions
Scottish Government letter of 8/11/07 | SCoD (petitioner) response, 26/11/07
02 October 2007
The Public Petitions Committee agreed to seek a further response to this petition from the Scottish Government and, in particular, on the Community Care and Mental Services for Adults with Sensory Impairment in Scotland research and on the funding available for support services for deaf and deafblind people with mental health problems.
Read the full report.
31 January 2007
The Committee agreed to seek the views of the petitioner on the response received from the Deputy Minister for Health.
15 June 2006
The Public Petitions Committee agreed to seek the views of the Deputy Minister for Health on the response from the petitioner and submissions from the CPG on Mental Health and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
18 January 2006
The Public Petitions Committee agreed to invite the views of the petitioner on the responses received.
28 June 2005
The Public Petitions Committee agreed to write to the Deputy Minister for Health.
23 February 2005
The Public Petitions Committee heard from Michael Davis, Drena O’Malley and Lilian Lawson of the Scottish Council on Deafness and agreed to write to the Scottish Executive, the John Denmark Centre in Manchester and the Royal National Institute for Deaf People.
SASLI/SCoD Awareness Raising Campaign
The Scottish Association of Sign Language Interpreters (SASLI) and the Scottish Council on Deafnesss (SCoD) are planning a campaign aimed at Local Authorities and the NHS to raise awareness of their responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act 2006 with regard to providing linguistic access to Deaf people who use BSL as their first language.
SASLI and SCoD share concerns about the use of unregistered interpreters in public services on a number of counts. These are:
- Unregistered interpreters may be unqualified and therefore are working without any knowledge of the ethical, moral and technical aspects of interpreting.
- SASLI regulates and sets standards for BSL/English interpreting in Scotland. SASLI’s role in training and registration links directly with quality and standards. Without registration, the ongoing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and professional standards, there is no way of making sure that Deaf and hearing people are being provided with a professional service and full access to accurate information.
- The reliance on family and friends to provide communication support is understandable in many circumstances. Full linguistic access for Deaf people can only be achieved when both participants take ownership of the communication exchange and it is recognised that the interpreter is not interpreting for just the Deaf person. SASLI also recognises that Deaf people have the right to choose who interprets for them - family and friends.
- SASLI will continue to take the lead in working with Deaf people on the development of good practice (and protocols) in the use of BSL/English interpreting. They will include privacy, choice, rights, and confidentiality.
The key aim of the campaign is to improve linguistic access to public services for Deaf BSL users by:
- Raising awareness within Local Authority and NHS services about the need to use registered interpreters;
- Providing information about working with an interpreter;
- Establishing the SASLI Chartermark as a quality assurance mechanism for purchasers of interpreting services;
- Open meetings with local Deaf communities.
Over the coming 18 months, SASLI & SCoD will be working with the union, Unite, to ask for their support in raising awareness of our campaign with members of COSLA, MSPs, the police services and other public services and professional groups.