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Top 5 Benefits of our Video Interpreting Services for the NHS

Jennifer Bird • Jun 13, 2023 • 3 min read

We won’t be the first to talk about the benefits of using video interpreting services, many before us have. What is unique about us is the seamless way we use video interpreting for our NHS customers alongside in-person interpreting.

Signalise has been delivering a high quality service to NHS Trusts and organisations since 2021. We offer face-to-face interpreting and video interpreting, as well as other services for Deaf people such as lipspeaking or translation. All professionals are registered and highly experienced.

1. Fast

One of the best benefits of video interpreting is that we are on-demand, 24/7. One night we provided a video interpreter at 11pm to get consent for an emergency procedure. The Deaf patient knew exactly what was happening and why. Organising a face to face interpreter at that time would have taken at least an hour, could have been more. Sometimes in an emergency, that is a luxury no-one has.

2. Flexible

Things happen. Interpreters become ill, get flat tyres or the previous appointment has overrun. Or, NHS staff have forgotten to book an interpreter.

We’ve provide video interpreting (when it is appropriate!) to ensure there are no delays in Deaf people receiving access. We have many examples now of providing access to people from elderly Deaf people at their GP who were surprised to communicate with an interpreter on screen, those who were able to be seen that day or access for walk-in centres on-demand where patients did not have to wait for a face-to-face interpreter. Often, Deaf patients and staff are grateful appointments were not delayed.

an x-ray of a hand doing the sign for 'OK'

3. Appropriate

We will only use video interpreting when it is appropriate and tell you when it isn’t. We received news last week of an optician who reported that they are only allowed to use video services under their existing contract leaving users without in-person provision. This has created a gap for Deafblind people, those with additional needs or vulnerabilities have not been considered. Now, there is no access to these vital services for these groups.

Deaf people in Merseyside and Cheshire said in local consultations in 2020 that face to face interpreting was their preference. Choice is key. For some in the Deaf community it may take time to get used to video services or it may never be right.

4. Coordinated

As Signalise provides both video interpreting and face-to-face interpreting, we do not push NHS services to buy one or the other. We do not subcontract to another service provider. The video interpreting service is ours, owned by the community and developed in line with their feedback.

We work with the preferences and interests of the Deaf patient and NHS staff. As experts in interpreting delivery and the community’s needs, we can tell you how to get the best outcomes for everyone.

5. Accessible

Our video interpreting service can increase accessibility to your services and fulfil your duties under the Equality Act and the NHS Accessible Information Standard.

Deaf people often receive a letter telling them to call the hospital to make an appointment, or cannot access services such as a PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison) to make a complaint or access patient help or crisis lines. These barriers can have a detrimental effect on patient health and cause longer term health inequalities.

We can work with you to add your organisation to our Directory so Deaf patients can access the NHS as anyone else can in a way they have not been able to before.


We can offer:

  • Stand alone video interpreting to work alongside your existing in-person provision
  • Provide both in-person and video services under an ad hoc arrangement or by contract.

We’d be very happy to help make your service accessible with our community expertise. Please make enquiries to hello@signalise.coop or call us on 0151 808 0373.

Contact us