British Sign Language
The BSL interpreter service is provided by the Leeds Society for Deaf and Blind People. Face-to-face BSL interpreting or interpreting through a communicator guide can be booked for you through the Society.
However, in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission throughout our hospitals, face-to-face interpreting is currently restricted to exceptional circumstances and/or to patients that are extremely clinically vulnerable and there is no alternative suitable arrangement.
The JusTalk app is being used on ward iPods to provide video BSL interpreting.
We have set up a befriending service for patients on our wards who use BSL and who might be feeling isolated. This is done through the JusTalk app that is downloaded onto ward iPods. To connect to our friendly BSL interpreters for a chat, please ask a member of staff to contact the Leeds Society for Deaf and Blind People, who can make the necessary arrangements for you.
If you have to come to A&E outside of normal office hours, the A&E staff have access to a list of freelance BSL interpreters that they can contact. Alternatively, for use in urgent situations only, the Trust can access video BSL interpreters through an ‘Interpreter on Wheels’ device. This is an iPad fixed into a speaker system mounted on castors.
Deaf Awareness During Covid-19
We have received practical feedback from patients, suggesting how we can help during COVID-19. The video below shows some of the feedback and what we're doing to respond to his, including the use of the JusTalk app.
SignHealth also have a text service for Deaf people experiencing mental health crisis.
DeafPlus has a national online helpline staffed by trained advisors – both BSL and text available.