[Skip to content]

Print this page

Latest news

Deaf patients to benefit from video interpreting service

Published 06/11/2017

Deaf patients will be able to communicate with staff more quickly via an on-screen interpreting service that is currently being trialled at the Royal Derby Hospital’s A&E.

Visitors to the department will be able to use the SignLive service to communicate with staff via an on-screen interpreter whilst arrangements are being made for a face to face interpreter to arrive. 

SignLive provides a direct video connection to a qualified British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter, whilst Derby Teaching Hospitals has been added to the app’s ‘Community Directory’, so that deaf patients can call the hospital at the touch of a button.  

Hospital staff will also be able to use the BSL video relay interpreting service to directly contact deaf patients over the phone on a personal number.

The service is due to be trialled in A&E for three months, following consultation with the Derby Deaf Forum and Communication Unlimited, who provide face to face interpreters for Derby Teaching Hospitals.   

More than 160 A&E staff at the Trust will have received Deaf Awareness training by December, whilst the department has been provided with an iPad that has been set up to run the SignLive service wherever it is needed.

Dr Beth Bateman, a Consultant in the department, said: “We are very excited about the trial of SignLive here at Royal Derby Hospital’s Emergency Department.  We are happy to be the local hospital for one of the biggest Deaf communities in the UK and have been working very hard to improve Deaf awareness with all our staff. We hope that using the new SignLive service will help improve access and immediate communication between patients and A&E staff, especially when waiting for a face-to-face interpreter to arrive.  We are pleased we will also continue to use Communication Unlimited face to face BSL interpreters as usual.”

Joel Kellhofer, CEO of SignLive, said: “We are very excited to be working in partnership with Derby Teaching Hospitals and Communication Unlimited to provide this level of access, especially because Derby is home to one of the largest Deaf populations in the UK. We are really proud of the high-quality service that SignLive provides.”

Alison Jones, CEO of Communication Unlimited, said: “We are happy to support this pilot, as it helps to enhance the provision of access for Deaf BSL users. We have worked very hard with the hospital and the Emergency Department to improve things for the deaf community, as attending hospital can be a stressful or frightening time when they are unable to communicate in their first language, which is British Sign Language.  We are excited to work in partnership with a reputable BSL video relay interpreting service and the hospital to provide immediate communication for deaf patients and their families or carers. We are also pleased to be continuing to provide face to face BSL interpreters for the hospital.” 

For further information on how to use SignLive, please visit http://signlive.co.uk/communitydirectory/deaf

View podcast about the service by clicking on the link below


Last Modified 07/11/2017