24/7 ‘SignLive’ service for BSL users now available at Morecambe NHS Trust

A British Sign Language (BSL) system, called ‘SignLive’, is now being used at healthcare settings across the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT).

A free service, SignLive connects people to qualified online BSL interpreters who can relay conversations between patients and members of staff. The trust said the service can also be used for face-to-face conversations on site and to contact the trust 24-hours-a-day.

The hope is that the system will help make services more accessible for patients, families, clinicians, staff and anyone who uses BSL.

The service is currently operating at Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal, Furness General Hospital in Barrow, the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Millom Hospital, Ulverston Community Health Centre and the Queen Victoria Hospital in Morecambe.

Barry Rigg, Head of Patient Experience for UHMBT, said: “SignLive is a great new service at our trust which will benefit patients, families, carers, visitors and anyone who wishes to use BSL when accessing our services. We hope this service will vastly improve the experience for everyone who uses BSL to communicate with our trust.”

Originally established in 2014 by entrepreneur Joel Kellhofer, who is an active member of the British deaf community, SignLive’s technology gives BSL users the valuable option to contact organisations outside of the standard ‘nine-to-five’ business hours.

The ’round the clock’ service is available as a downloadable app on mobile and tablet devices, or via a regular web browser.

More information on how to use the system is available on the website, or by watching a sign language video about SignLive at UHMBT through Vimeo.