1. Introduction

The hours of the service are: Monday to Thursday 8.45am – 5.20pm, Friday 8.45am – 4.20pm

The out of hours function will be supported by the Emergency Duty Team.

The Sensory Impairment Team provides a specialist service for people of all ages and covers both Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire.

1.1 Aim of the Team

The Team aims to provide the person with a prompt, easily accessible specialist service to support them practically and emotionally in understanding and coping with their sight / hearing loss.

The Team will work with the person to:

  • maintain and increase their independence;
  • increase choice and control in their daily life;
  • enable them to access other support services;
  • maintain and improve their quality of life.

2. Services provided by the Sensory Impairment Team

Following a specialist assessment of the person’s needs, they can provide:

  • individual rehabilitation training to enable people to manage daily tasks such as cooking, communication, shopping and getting about safely outdoors;
  • direct payment to purchase appropriate specialist equipment;
  • carers assessments (if the person is caring for someone or someone is caring for them);
  • information and support for families and carers;
  • guidance on appropriate benefits;
  • advice and information on local and national services;
  • signposting to other relevant services;
  • visual / deaf awareness and guidance;
  • support with training for deafblind people;
  • deaf and hard of hearing awareness / guidance.

3. Eligibility and Access

The Team works with people who have impaired vision and hearing. If a person experiences sight / hearing loss which cannot be treated by medical intervention or glasses, they can request an assessment of their needs.

The assessment will be carried out by a specialist worker and determines whether the person is eligible for services. It also helps the Team give priority as fairly as they can to those in greatest need of support.

There is no charge for the assessment. The worker will talk to the person about any costs relating to the service/s they need with them and will arrange for an assessment of their financial circumstances.

Staff can also assess whether there are any benefits that the person is entitled to receive.

4. Safeguarding Adults

See also Adult Safeguarding

The Team works closely with the Safeguarding Adults Team to reduce any concerns regarding the abuse of vulnerable adults. Abuse is mistreatment by any other person that violates their human and civil rights.