BSL - Launch of Online Video Relay Interpreting Service Pilot

25 February 2015

We are delighted to advise you of the forthcoming launch of phase 2 of the NHS 24 BSL online Video Relay Interpreting Service pilot which is being extended to all public services on Monday 2nd March 2015.

Currently, the Scottish Government is funding an NHS 24 online BSL Video Relay Interpreting Service pilot which aims to improve access to health services for people in Scotland who are Deaf, deafened or hard of hearing. This pilot is helping to tackle the barriers and discrimination that the Deaf community face and supports public services in meeting their legal obligations in relation to the Human Rights Act 1998, Equality Act 2010 and Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011.

In recognition that the Deaf Community deserves to have access to the same public services as everyone else, Ministers have agreed that the NHS 24 pilot should be extended to the rest of the public sector in Scotland and rebranded contactSCOTLAND.

This is a new cutting edge programme - it is the first nationally funded public sector Video Relay Interpreting Service pilot in the UK. It is a significant development for the Deaf community and more information on how the service will work can be found at The website includes a video clip in BSL.
From Monday, 2nd March 2015 service users will be able to contact any public service they need through the BSL Video Relay Interpreting Service. The new extended service will allow Deaf people throughout Scotland to use BSL to make contact (webcam/signing) with public services, such as, their Doctor, Police Scotland (not Emergency 999 calls), Council Services, Housing, Social Work and NHS 24. This new service is part of a range of communication measures and does not replace, for example, the traditional face to face interpreting services which currently exist.

Please help us pass this information on to anyone who may benefit from it, to ensure that our Deaf community get fair and equal access to public services in the same way as others.

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