NHS workers are to be targeted by RNID

The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) is to target NHS workers as part of a major campaign to launch later this year, aimed at improving access to health services.

The campaign’s purpose is to raise awareness of the problems deaf people encounter when dealing with health professionals, according to RNID director of campaigns and media Gill Kirk.

She said: ‘It needn’t be complicated, a lot of good can be done through simple things like not covering your mouth when speaking. Receptionists, for example, can offer to be more helpful and offer to collect those who are waiting.’

The campaign is now in the development stage with a launch set for three month’s time. It is expected to be PR focused, rather than using advertising or direct mail, to keep costs down. It will also be handled in-house.

The RNID is considering how best to use human interest examples for the campaign.

‘There are some horrific examples of treatment, but what we have to be careful about is scare-mongering,’ Kirk said.

PR efforts will focus on specialist media, liaison with organisations such as trade unions and the Royal College of Nursing, as well as attending health sector conferences. As the NHS employs around one million staff, targeting of the mainstream media is also being considered.

This is one of a number of campaigns being launched by the charity as part of this financial year’s comms activity.

Next month a consumer campaign to warn of the dangers of listening to loud music will launch. Called Don’t Lose the Music, the campaign will target 16 to 30-year-olds.

Meanwhile, the RNID has lost its top-five placing in the twice-yearly survey of MPs’ views on the effectiveness of charities’ lobbying. The latest survey, compiled by think tank nfpsynergy, named Macmillan Cancer Relief as the most effective charity.

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