Access to Free of Charge BSL Interpreters in Health Settings During Coronavirus

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SignHealth and InterpreterNow have together launched BSL HealthAccess which enables the provision of immediate, on demand access to British Sign Language (BSL) Interpreters for communication with deaf patients in health settings free of charge during the current coronavirus situation.
The service has been set up because coronavirus makes it even more difficult for Deaf people to access health services but it isn’t limited to people who have coronavirus – you can use it for any health service, including contact with your GP, visiting a pharmacy or any other healthcare matter (such as having a scan during pregnancy for example).
Anyone who needs to communicate using BSL in a health situation (GP, Pharmacist, hospital etc.) can use this service.  The service is available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

By downloading a free app on to their phones, tablets or laptops, the local deaf community can:Use the on-line interpreter to communicate with a hearing person in the same location in a health care setting.Use the on-line interpreter to ring a health care professional.A healthcare professional can call a patient back if necessary (if the patient has an app on their device).We need to let the local deaf community know about this free service which can help them at this current time.

There are lots of ways to use the service:
IOS / Android Phone / Tablet:
Register and download the free Interpreter Now App. Simply click on the ‘BSL Health Access’, button in the App and it will connect you to a fully qualified and registered BSL interpreter on the screen. It is that simple! 
On Laptop/PC:
There is no need to register.  You can access the service by clicking on ‘CALL/CONNECT NOW.

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust,  now has video remote access to British Sign Language Interpreters in A&E.  The Trust is hoping to roll this out further across the Trust.  At a time, when there is less access to face to face interpreting and staff wearing PPE makes communication and lip reading impossible,  deaf people are being left frustrated and isolated.  Deaf people often rely on asking family and friends to help them communicate, but they cannot do that with the current social distancing and stay at home policies.

If you require the flyer attached as a separate email to allow you to print and circulate please contact either [email protected] or Debbie Jones,  Inclusion and Diversity Service Lead, Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust [email protected]