The Government has announced that 250,000 clear face masks are to be delivered to frontline NHS and social care workers to support better care for people who use lip-reading and facial expressions to communicate.
The current masks used in health and social care services make it impossible for people who are deaf and have hearing loss to communicate effectively, so we called on the Government to approve clear masks for use in health and social care services and we have been working with the Government to make this happen.
Roger Wicks, our Director of Policy and Campaigns said:
“We welcome the procurement of clear face masks, which has the potential to improve the accessibility of health and social care services for those who rely on seeing facial expressions and lipreading to communicate, including people who are D/deaf or have hearing loss. We hope that different services across the NHS and social care are able to access clear masks and effectively match them to patient need. It will also be important that these masks are complemented by effective communication tips and deaf awareness among staff to ensure that people with hearing loss get the support they need.”