A BEACONSFIELD charity is set to carry out extensive research into the health of deaf people after it was awarded nearly £500,000 by the Big Lottery Fund.

SignHealth, a healthcare charity for deaf people, will lead the project on behalf of a group of over 60 deaf organisations.

Signhealth chief Steve Powell said: “We hear all the time from deaf people and their experiences indicate to us that their health is worse than hearing people, they meet communication barriers throughout the healthcare system and they face delays and misunderstandings in diagnosis and treatment.

“I hope that this important research will provide us with the evidence we need to generate change and improvements.”

Small scale studies in the UK show that deaf people have significantly worse physical and mental health than hearing people and experience considerable difficulties in accessing healthcare and health information.

However there is no definitive research despite deaf people being a high risk group. The project will run for three years and will build on a first round survey that the team at SignHealth are undertaking over the next few months. It will be delivered in partnership with Bristol University, supported by an expert research advisory committee.

Deaf people are encouraged to register to take part in the research through link below. www.iwantbetterhealth.org.uk