LABOUR health spokeswoman Julie Cooper is conducting an audit of support for deaf patient provided by the NHS in her Burnley constituency.

She called for better provision of British Sign Language interpreters in hospitals, GP surgeries and health clinics.

Mrs Cooper told a Westminster debate on the issue: "It beggars belief that 40 per cent of deaf people say that staff at their medical healthcare provider have called out their name to announce that it was their turn to be seen by a healthcare professional. It is hard to believe, but it happens all the time.

"The issue could easily be addressed by the provision of trained interpreters with a full working knowledge of British Sign Language."