The Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has invested in new iPads and a subscription to SignLive to enhance the experience and care for all deaf patients.

This service is available for patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week and has proved to be a great success in areas such as the Emergency Department or Urgent Care Centre when appointments have not been booked in advance.

The equipment is not only useful for holding medical conversations, but also helps improve the personal and day to day elements of care such as discussions about how comfortable a patient is, food and drink they might prefer or any additional services they require.

Patients can also register with a SignLive account from home, so an interpreter is always available to telephone the hospital to discuss or book appointments on their behalf.

The scheme has already received incredibly positive feedback so far. One happy patient, Derek Fitchett, said: “I love SignLive and will continue to use it for future appointments. It is such a good service that really needs to be promoted to the deaf community in Swindon.”

Deborah Tapley, Head of Patient Advice Liaison at Great Western Hospital, said: “We are so thrilled to have the ability to share this service with our deaf patients. Often, for somebody who is hard of hearing, hospital visits can be distressing or worrying. With the help of SignLive, we are hoping to reduce this anxiety and make the journey through hospital as easy as possible for all our deaf patients.

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