Paul Stemman

Deaf Info

24 October, 2006
Home > Policy > Government reports > A Sign of the Times

A Sign of the Times

A Sign of the Times was a Department of Health consultation document, published in 2002. It was written in response to the Inquiry into the Treatment of Daniel Joseph (2000). Daniel Joseph was a young Deaf man found guilty of manslaughter. The Inquiry into his treatment discovered there was no national strategy for Deaf mental health services.


Following consultation, the Department of Health published A Sign of the Times. The document outlined many of the problems faced by Deaf people in accessing health care. It also gave the background to the existing services that specialise in Deaf patients with mental health problems.


The report looked at the National Service Framework for Mental Health, and suggested ways that Deaf people’s needs might be included. In doing so, it highlighted the massive gaps in service provision, and the difficulties of having just three specialised services in the country.


The report also looked at what service developments could be made at all levels of the health service: from Deaf Awareness training to commissioning emergency admissions.


A Sign of the Times was used by the Department to consult with a wide range of people, from health professionals to service users. Having got this feedback, the subsequent response – Towards Equity & Access - was published in 2005. This report gave the Department’s conclusions, and made 26 recommendations.


The full A Sign of the Times report can be downloaded here.