Video relay service available for NHS patients

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NHS Tayside is raising awareness of a new service which allows deaf people across Scotland to contact public sector services using sign language.

British Sign Language (BSL) is used by nearly 1000 people in Tayside.

The Scottish Government funded video relay service offers an easy and flexible tool of interacting with profoundly deaf BSL users who access NHS Tayside’s services.

The service, which is currently operated by contactSCOTLAND, means that profoundly deaf people can contact NHS Tayside using the online relay system and staff in NHS Tayside can similarly contact deaf people.

The video relay system is for non-emergency calls and is available between 8am and midnight, seven days a week.

BSL users have to connect to the service using a computer or by downloading an app on their smartphone or tablet. Service users require an internet connection and either a webcam or front facing camera on their device to access the system.

NHS Tayside Clinical Governance and Risk Management Team Lead Tracey Passway said, “This service gives profoundly deaf people the opportunity to book their own appointments, change appointments and make contact with us.

“It offers an easy and flexible tool for people to interact. However, interpreters continue to be booked for all face-to-face appointments, meetings and interactions with healthcare staff.”

More information on how the BSL Video Relay Service works can be found on the

contactSCOTLAND website or by emailing