INVESTORS AND MEDIA
SignTranslate provides an easy and cost effective communication solution for healthcare organisations. It gives the BSL user confidence in their communication with the hearing world by giving them access to medical services they need, when they need them. It gives the organisations the ability to help people that they might have struggled to communicate with in the past.
SignTranslate can also help organisations meet their legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010 which requires that disabled people have the same access as everyone else to their services.
"Unless people can communicate, they can be completely misdiagnosed, and simple things such as making a GP appointment can be difficult. The language situation means that Deaf people need specialist treatment."
Steve Powell, Chief Executive, SignHealth. (Health Service Journal 19th July 2007).
"My interest in healthcare for Deaf people comes from having a Deaf daughter. We communicate through BSL at home and I am aware of the problems Deaf people have in accessing healthcare and in understanding consultations with healthcare professionals.
Deaf people normally rely on family and friends to interpret at hospital visits but this is often not appropriate when a private issue is being discussed. Also, family members are not usually qualified interpreters and communication in a medical consultation needs to be 100 per cent. Relying on lip reading and writing notes is inadequate.
By having SignTranslate at the RUH, we can ensure we provide Deaf people ... with vital support."
Dr Andrew Alexander, Consultant, Royal United Hospital Bath
"BSL interpreters are difficult to source for last minute or unsupported doctor appointments. SignTranslate is available 24/7 and with access to on-line BSL interpreters almost immediately, we believe it will be an invaluable resource. We fully support GP surgeries using it."
Patricia Phillips Associate Director, Acute Commissioning, Stockport Primary Care Trust
"We have received very positive feedback from GPs and their Deaf patients who have used the SignTranslate program. It has not only slashed Deaf patients' waiting times at surgeries but also helped GPs meet their legal obligations under the Disability and Discrimination Act, 1995. SignTranslate is delivering real cost efficiencies, whilst improving access to primary care for Deaf people. We are also delighted that interpreters see the on-line service as giving them the flexibility to work where they please and allow them to make more efficient use of their time."
Phil Murden, Director Health Access and SignTranslate, SignHealth
The Department of Health in its report 'Towards Equity and Access', which focuses on improving access to primary care for Deaf people, recommends; "That [SignTranslate] developed by SignHealth is made available to primary and secondary care services as speedily as possible."
(Published in March 2005 in partnership with the National Institute for Mental Health in England).
"At present a Deaf person may have to wait up to two weeks for a doctor's appointment because of the shortage of fully qualified BSL interpreters within England. With SignTranslate there should be no need to wait. However not every GP uses SignTranslate yet, so we are encouraging BSL users to tell their GP how important this service is for Deaf people."
Roger Hewitt, Deaf Community Ambassador for SignHealth