On Demand Remote BSL Interpreting Service ‘BSLHealthAccess’ launched for the UK's Deaf community

SignHealth and online interpreting company InterpreterNow, have together launched ‘BSL Health Access’ which enables the provision of immediate, on demand access to British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters for communication with Deaf people in health settings free of charge during the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

More than 70,000 Deaf people across the UK use British Sign Language (BSL) to communicate as our first and preferred language, but we know from research that Deaf people’s health is already much poorer than hearing people’s. Deaf people often rely on asking family and friends to interpret for them but they can’t do that with the current social distancing and stay at home policies.

When people wear PPE it makes communication and lip-reading impossible and Deaf people are being left frustrated and isolated. We need to be able to communicate with doctors and nurses now. As a result, SignHealth have teamed up with InterpreterNow to provide a solution, to fill the gaps in BSL interpreter provision in health settings and provide on demand BSL interpreting when it’s really needed.

Who can use the BSL Health Access Service?

Anyone who needs to communicate using British Sign Language (BSL), in a health situation, can use the service. Deaf and hearing people can both use the service.

How can you use the BSL Health Access Service?

There are lots of ways to use the service – you can download the InterpreterNow App and register on your mobile phone or tablet, or you can go to the website and use your computer and webcam to use the service.

Access the BSL Health Access Service

On a Mobile Phone/Tablet - Download/Open I-Now App [registration required]

On a PC/Laptop - Call/Connect Now [no registration required]

NHS 111 BSL Service - Open '24/7' 

Contact NHS 111 non-emergency BSL video relay service for medical advice and help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

NHS 111 is free and easy to use by downloading the InterpreterNow app on a phone or tablet and on PC by clicking on the connect button to a BSL interpreter.

Click here for more information about the NHS 111 BSL Service.

Published: Apr 17, 2020

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