BSL Health Access Now
BSL Health Access Now is an on demand video remote interpreting service for deaf patients which gives free access to online BSL Interpreters.
The purpose of the service is to facilitate communication in health related situations such as GP’s, dentists, pharmacies, opticians, NHS hospitals and any health-care related appointments.
The service is available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
BSL Health Access delivers immediate, on demand access to British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters for communication with deaf people in all health settings, including pharmacy, opticians, general practice and dentists, free of charge during the current coronavirus situation.
Access to BSL interpreters will take place through two methods:
Video Relay Services (VRS) - when a BSL interpreter relays information over a telephone call between a BSL user and the hearing person receiving or making the call.
Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) – where a remote interpreter is used to facilitate communication with a deaf or hearing person in the same location.
Patients can register and download the free ‘Interpreter Now’ App (iOS & Android). This will also allow Health Care professionals to be able to call you back if necessary.
From the App, you can click on the ‘BSL Health Access’, button and it will connect you to a fully qualified and registered BSL interpreter on the screen.
For more information and answers to any questions you may have please feel free to visit the website at https://www.bslhealthaccess.co.uk/
The company NHS England use is called ‘The Big Word’.
This is only to be used for use over the telephone and there is no pre-booking required as the clinician calls the service when you attend for your appointment.
Interpreter Signing Services – Royal Association for the Deaf (RAD)
NHS England will need at least one or two weeks’ notice (preferably) for this service as they are popular and do get booked very quickly.
Once RAD have confirmed that they have an interpreter available for your appointment NHS England will contact the surgery to arrange this.
Sometimes the appointment is of a sensitive nature and a request is made for a male/female interpreter – RAD will do their very best to accommodate this request.