Hearing is one of the things that we all start to lose as we get older. There are more than 400,000 Australians with severe hearing impairments, and as the population ages this number will only increase. The National Relay Service (NRS) is an Australia-wide phone relay service that can help people with hearing or speech impairments have good phone conversations with less misunderstanding and repetition.
As part of general practice accreditation, both practice staff and general practitioners need to be aware of alternative modes of communication used by their patients. The NRS is a great example of this, and is free of charge for both the patient and the business (standard data/call charges apply).
The NRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Anyone in the wider telephone network can be contacted.
- Calls can be made by a TTY (a special phone with a small keyboard and screen), internet relay, video relay, mobile phone or ordinary telephone.
- Training in how to use a TTY or internet relay is free.
- All calls through the NRS are relayed through a relay officer, who is the central link in every call and stays on the line to make sure calls go smoothly.