Paralympian, Janice Tillett, urges feedback to improve services for the disabled

Janice Tillett, two time silver medal, deaf and blind Paralympian

Janice Tillett, two time silver medal, deaf and blind Paralympian - Credit: Care Quality Commission

Former Paralympian Janice Tillett is urging deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind people to share information about the care they receive at services like GP surgeries, hospitals and care homes. 

Janice is a two time silver medallist, was the first deaf and blind person to swim across Lake Windermere and has worked at national charity Deafblind UK for a number of years. 

She’s been working with the Care Quality Commission who’s also been working with Disability Right UK and ‘experts by experience’ like Janice to encourage others to give feedback on care to ensure people are receiving safe and effective treatment and make sharing feedback more accessible and inclusive. 

Janice said: “It is important to share positive and negative experiences, as it is about duty of care and making services accessible to all. 

“I regularly use the Emmeline Centre at Addenbrooke’s to support me in managing my hearing loss. 

“The service they provide is excellent but, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was difficult for me to understand the receptionist as she was wearing a mask and there was a screen separating us. 

“By giving my feedback, I feel that I positively represented the clinicians, patients and myself, ultimately improving the experience for others.” 

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Addenbrooke’s since made a clear mask, registered with the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency, to aid lip readers. 

CQC’s chief inspector of Adult Social Care, Kate Terroni, said: “The lived experience of people who are deaf and hard of hearing, and the wider community, is significant. 

“We want to learn from their experience and drive these improvements and ensure people received good, safe care” 

If you wish to give feedback on your own or those of someone you care for, you can do so on the CQC website: https://www.cqc.org.uk

They recently launched SignLive on its website where people can provide feedback in British Sigh Language (BSL) through an interpreter; the service can be used on a smartphone, tablet or computer. 

For those preferring to communicate by text, you can get in touch using the RelayUK app. 

Feedback can also be given through Healthwatch, an organisation that provides advice, information and support with groups around the country.