Newcastle NHS allows Deaf customers to phone them via online BSL interpretation

Posted on May 25, 2017



The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has teamed up with Sign Solutions (a supporter of this site) to further improve access for their Deaf patients.

Signs Solutions’ online instant video interpreting system, InterpretersLive! is now available to Newcastle Hospitals’ patients.

For the NHS, the video interpreting system enables profoundly Deaf patients to have access to a clinician in person at the Trust or over the phone through a registered and qualified British Sign Language interpreter. This allows vital information to be communicated simply, easily and on demand 24/7. The system essentially removes the communication barriers for deaf people, by giving them the freedom and independence to communicate with and access services provided by their local NHS trust.

Deaf patients can also use the service to contact the hospitals and other services provided by the Newcastle Hospitals, for example to make or change appointments, by following the link on the Newcastle Hospitals website. Patients will be connected to an online, fully qualified sign language interpreter, who replays the conversation between them and the Newcastle Hospitals staff in real time.

Interpreters are available from 8am – midnight, seven days a week.

Sean Nicholson, CEO of Sign Solutions, said, “I am delighted that Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust has taken these steps to make themselves accessible to the Deaf community.

“It is the case that most NHS trusts do provide interpreters for scheduled appointments but Newcastle has taken the accessibility standard one stage further by allowing deaf people to actually call them in their first language, maybe just to change or cancel an appointment. This small move itself may save a great deal of money in terms of missed appointments and wasted interpreter costs.  It also makes the lives of deaf people easier and gives them equality of access to the NHS.”

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Posted in: deaf news