Virtual British Sign Language (BSL) Interpreter on trial in Emergency Department and Maternity Ward

Date: 10/08/2023

At Milton Keynes University Hospital (MKUH), we continuously seek new ways to improve patient support and accessibility. This month we have introduced trials in the Emergency Department and Maternity Ward to offer immediate access to British Sign Language (BSL) Interpreters via an online virtual service, providing additional on-demand support for our deaf community and patients whose first language is BSL.

Funded by the Milton Keynes Hospital Charity, the Patient Experience Team has been provided with ten iPads and access to SignLive – British Sign Language (BSL) Interpreter software. SignLive is a Video Relay Interpreting (VRO) service which allows patients whose first language is BSL to communicate with non-BSL users via an on-demand video call. The 24/7 service is currently accessible in the Emergency Department and Maternity Ward; however, the intention is to offer access to the services across the hospital following initial trials.

Access to the virtual on-demand BSL interpreter will not replace the value of already-established face-2-face BSL interpreters available at the hospital. The intention is that the SignLive software will be available in emergencies or when a face-2-face BSL interpreter cannot be found.

To find out more about SignLive please get in touch with the Patient Experience Team at [email protected]