Deaf or hard of hearing
Coronavirus (COVID-19) update
If you use BSL and need to contact NHS 111, you use the NHS 111 BSL. The service is open all day, every day.
Checking your hearing
Hearing loss can come in many different forms. Some people are born with hearing problems, some people can become ‘deafened’, and some people begin to lose their hearing as they get older. Whatever your type of hearing loss, there may be devices and support available to help you stay independent and connected.
If you think you may be losing your hearing, you can check your hearing for free using the Action on Hearing Loss online hearing check or automated telephone service (0844 800 3838). Or you can make an appointment to see your GP (family doctor) and ask for an ear examination. Your high street opticians such as Boots and Specsavers may also offer free hearing aids checks if you are aged over 60.
Your doctor may decide to refer you on to a specialist NHS service for further tests – this may be an ear, nose and throat (ENT) department, audiology department or hearing clinic, for example at the Royal Free Hospital or the Royal Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital.
They will be able to tell you the specifics of your hearing loss and whether it is permanent. The specialist service or your doctor will also be able to advise whether a hearing aid might be suitable for you and help you access one. For more information NHS Choices.
Camden sensory needs service
The Camden sensory needs service for adults is a specialist team that supports people who live in Camden. We can help if you:
- are blind or partially sighted
- are Deaf or hard of hearing
- have both a significant hearing and sight loss.
Registration and help from Adult Social Care
If a doctor has confirmed your hearing loss is permanent, they can refer you (or you can self-refer) to Camden Council Adult Social Care Sensory Needs Service.
- The sensory needs service is a specialist team that supports people in Camden who are D/deaf or hard of hearing.
- We start by looking at how your sensory loss affects your day-to-day life. We call this process an assessment. It will be undertaken by a specialist rehabilitation worker, who will be able to discuss with you different ways that will help you live more independently, including local support groups and translation services.
- If this assessment shows you have an eligible need, we may provide you with services such as equipment.
- Contact Adult social care on 020 7974 4000 (option 1) or use Sign Video or Texmee.
Equipment to help you live as independently as possible
If you are eligible for support, we can provide equipment free of charge. The type of equipment depends on your eligibility and individual needs but may include:
- a vibrating pad which is linked to a smoke alarm
- a baby alarm or wrist receiver that has been specially adapted to alert deaf parents of their baby crying
- a flashing light for a doorbell and/or telephone
- a headset or neck-worn T-loop for connection to a TV or a one-to-one meeting
- an amplified telephone
- a textphone.
You can also register as deaf with Camden Council. You do not have to register, but it may help with accessing certain benefits, equipment or services, such as transport discounts or passes.
- For equipment and technology that you may find useful visit the Equipment and technology to help you pages on Camden Care Choices.
- Contact the Adult Social Care Access and Response Team on 020 7974 4000 (option 1) or via Texmee or Sign Video.
Services for deaf people who use sign language
- RAD provide information, advice and guidance for deaf people living in Camden who use British Sign Language (BSL).
- If you need help with benefits, employment, debt, letters you have received and/ or filling in forms, you can visit the Contact Camden reception on Monday, Tuesday and Friday between 10am and 4pm. For contact details, please see below or download a leaflet.
- RAD also provide a BSL translation and interpreting service for D/deaf Camden residents attending primary care appointments. This includes appointments with GPs etc.
Address: Contact Camden, 5 Pancras Square, N1C 4AG
Phone: 020 7974 4444
Text: 07912 630 786
More information and useful links
- I am Deaf and Hard of Hearing - How can I contact the council?
- Camden Council British Sign Language videos on key council services.
- Download a list of useful contacts for people with sensory needs.
- Download the Sensory Needs Service for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people leaflet.
- For health information, visit the SignHealth website.