Health and social care

Everyone should have equal access to high quality health and social care. This care must be personalised so that people can be independent, healthy and fully engaged in their community.

Social care

Social care is vital for many people who are deafblind or have complex needs, including disabled children and their families. It can offer people greater levels of independence and access to the community, as well as meeting care and support needs.

The system is under pressure, with growing demand and financial challenges meaning that fewer people are getting the care and support they need.

We campaign for a sustainably funded and high quality social care system that meets the needs of all who use it; irrespective of age or level of need.


It’s essential that healthcare services are accessible for people who are deafblind or have complex needs so that they are able to access services, communicate with healthcare professionals and receive information about their health.

Considerations for accessible healthcare include the physical environment, staff awareness and understanding, methods of communication and the way that information is presented.

What we're calling for

  • Disabled people to be at the heart of any reform of health and social care, so that they are given the opportunity to shape a system that reflects their needs and experiences
  • The government to commit to a long-term, sustainable plan to fund social care which is fair and works for everyone with long-term care and support needs.
  • Health and social care providers to commit to providing accessible services, including full implementation of the Accessible Information Standard.
  • Clearer entitlements and access to social care and support for disabled children and their families.
  • Better integration between health, social care, housing and employment services and initiatives.

What we're doing

Sense supported NHS England on the development of the Accessible Information Standard. Now that the Standard is published, we're working with partner organisations to support implementation.

We continually monitor developments in health, social care and supported housing; taking opportunities to ensure that the government consider the needs of people who are deafblind or have complex needs in their proposals.

Sense is a member of the Disabled Children's Partnership, through which we campaign for improved health and social care for disabled children, young people and their families.

As part of the Care and Support Alliance, Sense campaigns for proper funding for social care.

Sense is a member of the Health and Wellbeing Alliance as part of the Complex Needs Consortium (CNC), alongside The National Autistic Society and VoiceAbility. As members of the Health and Wellbeing Alliance, we advise on how people with complex needs can, and should, be involved in decisions about health and social care.

There are many steps that healthcare providers can (and do) take to make their services more accessible to people with complex communication needs – including assessing the physical environment, using good communication tactics, and making their documents accessible.

Our 'Equal access to healthcare' report outlines the personal experiences that people who are deafblind have faced when accessing healthcare, from the positives to the negatives. It also includes examples of best practice, hints and tips on accessible healthcare and information on the Accessible Information Standard.

Get in touch

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Contact us