Angela Hughes, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board Sarah Thomas, Centre of Sign-Sight-Sound.
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
This Bevan Exemplar Project introduced an interactive online interpreter and trained staff in basic British Sign Language to improve the healthcare experience for people from the D/deaf community.
Following extensive consultation with the D/deaf community, the Centre of Sign-Sight-Sound and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board sought to make a step change improvement for direct access to its health and care services for people who use British Sign Language (BSL).
Members of the D/deaf community reported difficulties accessing GP appointments due to the challenges of booking BSL interpreters.
To provide quicker, more cost-effective access to communication support for deaf people.
The deaf community highlighted that for many, BSL is their first language and there is a need for healthcare staff to be aware of their use of overly technical language. The team needed to develop training sessions to enable staff to appreciate the difficulties people who are deaf face in accessing healthcare appointments.
The team introduced an innovative Digital Access Interpreting SYstem (DAISY), using a secure encrypted digital platform to carry out remote BSL interpreting.
DAISY can be accessed via iPads, tablets, smart phones or personal computers and through the Health Board’s own internal IT system. The technology is simple and uses recognised social networking platforms.
Patients wanted to discuss concerns about their experiences in hospitals. A “Sign Me” video phone was introduced in the concerns team, removing barriers to this vital communication channel and enabling BSL users to raise concerns. Additionally, the team produced a video in BSL, working with members of the deaf community, to explain the Concerns process. The Video will be primarily in BSL but will also be subtitled so that it can be used with diverse groups.
The team developed and delivered sessions to staff in basic BSL and supported them to become more deaf aware. To date, 290 staff have been trained with an aim of an additional 500 to be trained over the coming months. Sessions last 5 hours and run throughout the year on various sites. The sessions have resulted in an increased awareness of staff. Participants are able to consider different areas of their work as to their deaf awareness.
The use of technology to support BSL translation is a cost effective and sustainable solution for Wales. The cost is minimised to the duration of the consultation; the translator is required simply for the 10 minute GP appointment as opposed to the minimum one hour requirement for-a-face to face translator, there are no additional travel costs.
Did you know? Cardiff and Vale University Health Board is the first Welsh health board to sign the British Deaf Association’s BSL Charter.
“Listening to the deaf community has enabled us to work together and truly work to improve their experience of using our healthcare system“ Team member “Absolutely amazing course. It has made me want to take learning BSL even further.“ BSL Course participant “This session was well planned and taught in an interactive way that will help me retain what I was taught. I will feel confident to use these skills going forward.” BSL Course participant
Part of cohort Bevan Exemplar Projects 2018-19