A pilot project which offers deaf patients in West Dunbartonshire access to BSL (British Sign Language) interpreting services is being trialled for six months.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) is rolling out an app which patients can download to their mobile and when they attend an appointment they can get instant access to a BSL interpreter on screen.

If the patient chooses this mobile interpreting service their GP or other healthcare provider will be informed.

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Jac Ross, equality and human rights manager at the health board said: “This new development which enables BSL users in West Dunbartonshire to download the app to their own phone or device means they can carry the interpreter to their GP appointment in their pocket; improving their direct access.

“This development will not be replacing face to face interpreters but allowing choice for Deaf people in a health appointment.”

Paul Hull, health improvement practitioner, added: “As a deaf person myself, I understand and can empathise with how frustrating it can be for Deaf BSL users meeting medical staff and worrying if communication support will be available.

“Using a video interpreting mobile app can be extremely useful and allow deaf BSL users to become more independence and allow communicating with NHSGGC staff with ease.”

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