Data on hearing loss in Wales for Cardiff Deaf Centre

The Cardiff Deaf Centre (CDC) wants to raise funds from major funding sources for two related projects: the refurbishment of the CDC building and the improvement and development of services provided to the deaf community.

The request

The CDC had identified the funding sources, defined the evidence required, and put together business cases and funding applications. The aim of the project was to find evidence from publicly available data sources relating to the deaf community in Cardiff and the surrounding area, to support funding applications to the Welsh Government Community Facilities Programme - a capital grant scheme operated by the Welsh Government.

The approach

Statistical information can demonstrate the levels of hearing problems in a population, the extent to which it varies within differing demographic groups, and the effect it has on the everyday lives of people.

The results

All the data used in the project was based on official National Statistics from either the Welsh Government or the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The sources used include the Welsh Health Survey, National Pupil Database, a range of hospital data, 2011 Census, National Survey for Wales, ONS data on British Sign Language, and the ONS mid-year population estimates. It helped to build a picture of the numbers of people with hearing problems living in Cardiff and South Wales; and of the impact of hearing problems on their lives.

One of the difficulties was that data from the various surveys was at an all-Wales level and could not be disaggregated to local authorities, as the sample sizes were not large enough to provide reliable small-area estimates. Data from the 2011 Census was used to derive local authority estimates.

This data was supported by an excerpt from a report by the Welsh Government (the organisation from which funding is being sought), Sensory Health: Eye Care and Hearing Statistics, 2016-17, which concludes:
'… hearing loss can reduce a person’s ability to communicate, stay socially active, maintain good cognitive, mental, and physical health, and get and keep a job. Being unable to communicate leaves people cut off from the world and leads to higher costs for the NHS, the government and the national economy.'

The impact and benefits

Tracey Bancroft of the Cardiff Deaf Centre commented: 'Having the support of a skilled dedicated resource has been beneficial for a small charity; this level of support cannot be overstated in value. Whilst we are still in the early stages of the projects and are currently undergoing changes to the overall business plan, the data source will definitely provide valuable evidence as we move forward. We are grateful for the opportunity to engage in this programme and receive support from the Royal Statistical Society and Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA).