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A&E launches video translation service for deaf patients

Published 02/10/2013

The Royal Derby Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department is introducing a new video link, putting deaf patients in contact with sign language interpreters to help doctors make a diagnosis.

The three month trial will test how effective it is for A&E staff to contact sign language interpreters at short notice using video conference calls.

David Ainsworth, General Manager for Acute Medicine at Derby Hospitals, said: “We are very excited about trialling this scheme to improve the patient experience for our deaf community. Having a sign language interpreter does make it easier for deaf people to talk to doctors and give a clearer account of their symptoms.

“We do provide a translation service but the very nature of A&E means that people arrive without notice and sign language interpreters are not always available, especially out of hours. We have been working very closely with the British Deaf Association, to ensure that we provide an accurate service that meets the needs of our deaf community.”

Robin Ash, Regional Campaign Coordinator for the British Deaf Association, said: “We thank the Royal Derby Hospital for consulting with us and taking our feedback into consideration. We know from experience it can be very difficult for deaf people to communicate, particularly in stressful situations such as visiting A&E. This scheme will allow sign language interpreters to translate deaf patients’ ailments with precision and greater clarity. It will also help doctors provide a tailored service.”


For further information, please contact:

Amanda Wells
Communications and Media Manager
Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

01332 786947

07799 337677


Last Modified 02/10/2013