Practical Tips for your GP Surgery

  • On the record communication card: RNID has produced a communication card which patients' can download and print, fill in, and hand to the GP receptionist, so that the GP surgery meets their needs as required under the NHS Accessible Information Standard.
  • RNID created a summary of practical information to enable patients to contact their surgery more confidently, communicate well during appointments and fully understand the information given to them, that meets legal requirements of the accessible information standard.
  • Speech to Text apps during consultations are useful where the patient cannot hear or struggles to lip read. There are many free downloadable speeches to text apps on phones where speech is converted into text for the patient to read.
  • Deaf awareness training for all practice staff. The RCGP has accredited an online deaf awareness course. This two-hour self-directed course which enables understanding of the communication needs of Deaf and hearing-impaired patients. It provides practical workplace strategies to help meet the Accessible Information Standard. Videos of patients' and Doctor’s real-life experiences convey information and enrich the learning experience.
  • InterpreterNow is a service that enables deaf and hearing people to communicate with each-other. They deliver immediate access to online interpreting for deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users. InterpreterNow already provides deaf people access to many different public, private and charitable organisations such as NHS England, Police 101, Public Health England and the Scottish Government.
  • A personal listening device is a small, personal amplifier which is used for communicating with people who cannot hear at conversational levels. The patient wears headphones whilst the GP speaks into the microphone (amplifier). The patient or clinician can adjust the volume dial on the amplifier to suit the patient’s individual hearing loss.
  • Telecoil System in GP surgeries practice will be beneficial for some people wearing hearing aids whom have the function to switch to the 'T' loop system to help reduce the unwanted background noise in the GP waiting area.


Hearing aids are essentially amplifiers adjusted to the individual's frequency loss. While they improve hearing, the sensory organs remain damaged and deterioration will progress. The hearing aid requires reassessment and adjustment every few years. GPs are well placed to remind patients of this. This is done locally where their hearing aids were initially provided i.e privately, high street stores or through their local NHS audiology department.

Disposable parts of the hearing aid such as tubes and some ear moulds need replacing every few months if they are to remain effective. Patients are given this advice and guidance from their audiology service when initially given the hearing aids. If they are unsure, please direct them back to their original service.

The C2Hear website has interactive multimedia videos on hearing aids to aid your consultations.