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Communicating with people with a hearing loss on the telephone

  • Speak directly into the phone’s mouthpiece (but don’t hold it too close)
  • Speak naturally and at a moderate speed
  • Do not shout as this distorts the words
  • Do not mumble, speak clearly and at a reasonable level
  • Make sure they know who they are speaking to and what the conversation is about
  • Remove as much background noise as you can
  • Give the person time to process what you have said
  • Check regularly that what you have said has been understood
  • Be prepared to be patient and to repeat what you have said
  • Get straight to the point and don’t pad out conversations with unnecessary words
  • If a patient has not understood after repeating the information a few times, rephrase the information
  • Consider alternative methods such as email, SMS or text relay (if patient uses), see link below for information on text relay.

Relay UK for hearing people – How to use Relay UK | Relay UK (bt.com)