We would like to share with you some of the ways that North West Ambulance Service provides support to our deaf and hard of hearing communities. All of the services listed below are free of charge to use:
Using our 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 the following link:
Our Paramedic Emergency Service crews also carry Pictorial Communication handbooks – more information can be found on them here: https://www.nwas.nhs.uk/services/help/pictorial-communications
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://interpreternow.co.uk/nhs111 (suitable with computers, tablets or phones) or through the InterpreterNow app (suitable for either Android or iOS) but to use the App you need to register it beforehand through here: www.interpreternow.co.uk/reg. It is recommended that you do this before you may need to use it.
You can download the app here:
Patient Transport Service
Our Patient Transport Service crews carry Pictorial Communication Handbooks. More information on this can be found here: https://www.nwas.nhs.uk/services/help/pictorial-communications/
We would like to thank colleagues at Deafway Preston who co-produced this information with us. If you would like any more information on anything mentioned above then please do not hesitate to contact the Patient Engagement Team at Talk.email@example.com.