Our local deaf community in Tower Hamlets will soon have on-demand, video-link access to a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter anytime they visit a Care Group managed GP practice or Community Health Service whenever it's required.
The Tower Hamlets Advocacy and Interpreting Service (THAIS) has previously highlighted the challenge of providing BSL interpreters at the time of need for our deaf community in Tower Hamlets. The Care Group has now commissioned a BSL App that will be accessible to all GPs and Community Health Services managed by the Care Group.
The on-demand, video BSL Interpreting Service will ensure that deaf patients will have seamless access to a BSL interpreter through a video link anytime they go to their GP practice.
This new approach is a marked improvement on the current system, which sees deaf patients having to wait between three to five days for a BSL interpreter to be booked for their medical appointments.
The installation of this new BSL App in all GPs and Community Health Services is already in progress, and we expect to have it running in all Practices from Monday 2 August 2021. The service will be available even during Out of Hours to cover emergencies.
This new virtual provision of BSL interpreting service is in line with the Care Group's aim of ensuring equity of access to healthcare for all our patients and improving the quality and efficiency of our Advocacy and Interpreting service.