Information about Coronavirus
Updated 30/03/20 – We aim to keep this page as up to date as the situation unfolds.
Information about coronavirus in BSL
SignHealth has translated information from Public Health England and the Department of Health and Social Care into BSL,
Contact NHS 111 services if you are worried you have coronavirus OR you may have come in contact with someone who has coronavirus. There is an online service available at 111.nhs.uk/covid-19 or you can use InterpreterNow. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Click HERE to access common questions about Coronavirus from the NHS.
DSN Coronavirus Update
999 Emergency SMS Service
The Emergency SMS service lets deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired people in the UK send a SMS text message to the UK 999 service where it will be passed to the police, ambulance, fire rescue, or coastguard. You need to register before you can use it. All information on how to register for the service can either be found on the attached poster or by visiting www.emergencysms.net/
Paramedic Emergency Service crews also carry Pictorial Communication handbooks – more information can be found on them here: https://www.nwas.nhs.
Patient Transport Service
Patient Transport Service crews carry Pictorial Communication Handbooks to help communicate.
To use NHS111, you can use InterpreterNow to connect you to an online BSL interpreter who will phone NHS111 for you. The NHS111 adviser will ask you questions to assess your symptoms and then decide what to do next, depending on the severity of your health problem. This could be: giving you self-care advice, or direct you to the local service that helps you best, or if your health problem is urgent, they will send an ambulance for you.
To access InterpreterNow, you can either use the internet: https://
Staying at home due to coronavirus
Our partners at Cheshire East Council have produced an advice booklet: Staying at home due to coronavirus
Free BSL interpreter service for health professionals
Sign Health - the national Deaf Health Charity and a key partner for the Faculty's SORD (Social Research with Deaf People) team led by Professor Alys Young - has launched a new national service for immediate BSL (British Sign Language) interpreter access in health situations.
This means that any health professional - staff or student - who needs to communicate with a Deaf BSL user and vice versa can now do so immediately via remote access interpreting in real time.
The service covers all NHS funded services in England and Wales and is free for all who use it during the coronavirus pandemic.