To answer noble Lords’ questions, the noble Lord, Lord Hunt, asked about the decision on psychological therapy provided in British Sign Language and where the responsibility for that should be in specialised commissioning. Following advice from the prescribed specialised services advisory group, and in consultation with NHS England, Ministers have taken the decision that responsibility for commissioning psychological therapies for deaf sign language users should remain with the clinical commissioning groups.

The noble Lord, Lord Hunt, also made five points. There was that of the national champion and how to build on the work thus far. I am happy to take that back and will write to him. On health and well-being boards, they should pick up across-the-board services. We hope that they are doing so. I suspect that health and well-being boards will, in their second report for this coming year, pick up on that sort of thing if they are not doing so already. On co-ordination of services, again, it should be within the gift of health and well-being boards to ensure that social care and all health services are not only properly commissioned but also properly co-ordinated. It sounds an admirable idea that there should be regular meetings with the NHS in each local area for people with hearing loss and deafness. I imagine many people with other sorts of disability would like to see that as well. Perhaps that is something that Healthwatch might be able to facilitate.

Do GPs have to pay for their translation services? Each provider of a public service is responsible for ensuring that they make reasonable adjustments to meet the needs of disabled people. This is not funded centrally but must be found from within local budgets.

The noble Lord, Lord Addington, asked about co-ordinating help for deaf people in other fields, such as education and employment. The Minister of State for Disabled People, in his capacity as chair of the interdepartmental group on disability, recently wrote to Ministers in other government departments to ask what their departments are doing to support their deaf users.

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On the questions of the noble Lord, Lord Ponsonby, about plans to ensure that NHS Choices increases the number of videos available in BSL, NHS Choices is very keen to provide more BSL content. It has approached SignHealth and in turn secured funding for the existing BSL videos. Noble Lords might be interested to know that there are videos available on: breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease, lung cancer, prostate cancer, back pain, depression and low mood, getting tested for Chlamydia, preventing high cholesterol and tinnitus. Those are the ones currently signed.

What would the Minister recommend to a deaf person who wants to see a doctor but is told that no interpreter is available? We recommend that they lodge a formal complaint with the GP practice. If the complaint is not resolved, we recommend that the complaint is escalated to CCG or NHS England as set out in the complaints procedure.

What does the Minister think would be the best way to raise deaf awareness among staff working in the health service? It is ultimately the responsibility of individual employers to support the development of the staff they employ. However, Health Education England will provide leadership and work with local education training boards—LETBs—regulatory bodies and health care providers to ensure professional and personal development continues beyond the end of formal training.

What steps will the Government take to encourage NHS England and Public Health England to promote the health of deaf people? The NHS is a universal service for the people of England and NHS England is under specific legal duties in relation to tackling health inequalities and advancing equality. The Government will hold NHS England to account for how well it discharges these duties.

Can we expect NHS computer systems to be able to tell us how many deaf people there are and which services they are accessing? The short answer is regrettably no, not yet. However, the new system being commissioned by NHS England to upgrade the hospital episodes statistics—the HES service—will mean that they include a richer source of hospital data, plus data from care provided outside hospital. While this will not tell us how many deaf people there are, it will tell us about deaf people’s access of services. I am sure other improvements to care data in time will be able to give us the number of deaf people there are.

Will implementation of the proposed information standard be supported by a funded programme which can help to educate and support? As part of the engagement activity, we asked health and care professionals and organisations to advise us as to the challenges they experience in meeting the communication needs of patients, carers and services users, as well as the ways they have identified to overcome the challenges. These will be reviewed. The intention is that the findings will inform the drafting of the standard itself and the development of supporting tools. Regarding the psychological therapies question, following a device from the prescribed specialised services group, Ministers have decided that these services should be commissioned by CCGs.

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I move on to the question of the noble Lord, Lord Borwick: what can be done to encourage more teachers to work in this specialist area? Schools and local authorities are responsible for assessing their workforce and have adequate recruitment and training strategies in place. We expect authorities to work with schools so that they know and build the appropriate skills for the teaching workforce, and the DfE is funding scholarships for teachers to develop their knowledge and skills, including postgraduate qualifications. Regarding the question of texting information, this sort of thing is a local decision. I have told noble Lords how my local GP practice chose to sort it, and others may choose to use texts.

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On teacher numbers, so far 600 teachers have achieved or are working towards a qualification relating to special educational needs, and a further 500 have applied for the current funding round. I have exhausted the supply of responses from the Dispatch Box, but I feel absolutely sure that when we go through Hansard, many more questions will come to light, so we will write a letter to all noble Lords who have taken part in the debate.

House adjourned at 8.21 pm.