Regional News

New interpreter service launched for deaf patients


The NHS in Sefton, Knowsley and Liverpool have been working together to improve interpreter services for D/deaf patients.

More responsive services

After engagement with patients highlighted the need for more responsive interpreter services, in September 2021 a new contract was awarded to Signalise Co-op to provide sign language and deafblind services to the local NHS, including GP practices, hospitals and community health services.

Following the initial success of this service, a further enhancement has been developed and will be available in all local GP practices from Monday 10 October 2022. This will allow sign language users to make calls to their GP surgery directly by phone.

Patients will do this by using the Signalise Video Relay Service (VRS) to contact a Signalise interpreter, who will then telephone their GP practice, community or hospital team and interpret the call on their behalf.

Huge step forwards

Dr Monica Khuraijam, a GP from Liverpool explains: “Previously, if a patient who was deaf wanted to get a GP appointment, they either had to go to the surgery in person to request this or rely on a family member or friend to call their surgery for them – so this is a huge step forwards in empowering deaf patients to be able manage their own medical needs.”

The system will significantly improve access to healthcare services for D/deaf patients by making it easier for them to contact the NHS for advice or treatment, and also ensure that an interpreter is arranged for each of their health appointments.

Patients will also be able to request sign language versions of patient letters and other medical information under the new service.


 D/deaf patients can start using the service to contact their GP practice or book appointments now by either:

They can also find a patient video explaining more about how to use the service to here:

Video Relay

In addition to this, there are also plans to extend the new Video Relay Service for BSL users into local hospitals and other key health services very soon.

Signalise Co-op is co-owned and co-run by both members of the local Deaf community and BSL/English interpreters, and any profit made is reinvested into the co-op and its community.

You can find out more about Signalise’s services here. 

Content provided by NHS Cheshire and Merseyside - Sefton.

Published on Wed, 12 Oct 2022 12:51:13 GMT
Modified on Wed, 16 Aug 2023 16:10:38 GMT