Deaf people have always struggled with access to the NHS. The barriers to access can take many forms, whether it be needing an interpreter to talk to a doctor, or just making sense of the NHS leaflets and website information.
The introduction of the Accessible Information Specification, has provided NHS trusts with guidelines on how to meet the needs of their local Deaf community. Targeted to meet the minimum standards of the specification by July 2016, trusts have already implemented vital changes to improve how patients access the NHS services. However, the specification details further measures such as ensuring all patient information is available in the patient’s first or preferred language and that they are empowered to communicate instantly, to cover any emergency communication requirements.
At last technology has the answer, through on demand video Interpreting technology.
For the NHS, the video interpreting system enables profoundly Deaf patients to have instant 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 the services provided by their local NHS trust.
The Accessible Information Specification is designed to take a specific yet consistent approach to identifying, recording, flagging, sharing and meeting the information and communication support needs of patients, service users, carers and parents. It is applied right across the NHS and the adult social care system and has required the organisation to make a number of changes to policy, procedure, human behaviour, and, where applicable, electronic systems.
The standard defines the steps that NHS organisations need to take in order to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ under the equality Act 2010. An effective implementation of the said standard will lead to a number of benefits, including improved outcomes, heightened experiences, and the provision of safer and more personalised care and services to those individuals who find themselves within the Standard’s scope.
InterpretersLive! provided by Sign Solutions, uses existing computers/tablets and can even make use of existing packages such as Microsoft Lync to obtain a qualified and registered BSL interpreter on demand or via the trusts website to enable patients to make calls from home 24/7/365.
We can also offer translation of leaflets and letters for Deaf patients as well as face to face provision of Interpreters for planned appointments.
We are dedicated to making the world accessible for Deaf people to ensure they are able to fully participate and possess all the knowledge needed to make informed decisions. We can assist trusts in developing their systems and staff knowledge through Deaf Awareness training.
The introduction of the aforementioned services brings the NHS closer to meeting the Accessible Information specification requirements and further increases the accessibility rating of their website
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