In collaboration with

Health and Social Care Remote Sign Language Interpreting Service

A free remote interpreting service for British Sign Language (BSL) and Irish Sign Language (ISL) users in Northern Ireland has been introduced to provide the Deaf community with access to NHS111 and all non-emergency health and social care services during the COVID-19 pandemic. This temporary service is provided by InterpreterNow.

Watch a BSL video that explains more about this service and how to access it below.

Watch a ISL video that explains more about this service and how to access it below.

How to connect?

On a PC:

[Windows & Apple Mac computers]

Click on the ‘Click here’ button below to connect to a BSL/ISL interpreter.

No Registration required.

On a mobile phone or tablet:

Tap on the Health and Social Care logo in the InterpreterNow app.

Already got the App? Open here

Need to Register for the App?

Video Presentation

PowerPoint Presentation/Show

A4 Flyer

Click/Tap here

Sara Kelly – Community Liaison Officer: sara@interpreternow.co.uk


Robin Beattie – Community Liaison Worker: robin@interpreternow.co.uk

More info here: https://interpreternow.co.uk/hscni-support

If health staff are coming across firewall/network restrictions – please see the attached useful guide for network configurations.

Download here: InterpreterNow Technical Specification no flash (PDF)

This short guide will show you the basics of the services.

PDF version <<<

To contact all non-emergency Health and Social Care services including your local GP.

It can be used to contact:

  • Northern Ireland GPs and GP Out of Hours Services
  • Hospitals for inpatient or outpatient queries (including independent / private hospitals)
  • All health services – e.g. a dentist, optician, optometrist, community pharmacy, etc.
  • All social care services – e.g. a social work team, day centre, residential or nursing home (including independent / private care facilities commissioned by HSC), etc.
  • Ambulance transport services
  • The Northern Ireland COVID19 Community Helpline: 0808 802 0020

What about 999 emergency calls?

  • This service does not cover 999 emergency calls.
  • For 999 calls: you should continue to use the 999 Emergency SMS Text service as normal.

This service includes two elements:

 Video Relay Service (VRS): This enables Deaf people to telephone a Health and Social Care service provider via a remote BSL or ISL interpreter.

How it works:
The Deaf person, the interpreter, and the Health and Social Care service provider can all be in different locations. The Deaf person contacts the interpreter via the Interpreter Now app, using their smartphone or tablet, or via the secure video link using a computer. Once they are connected, the interpreter telephones the Health and Social Care service provider on the Deaf person’s behalf.

Video Remote Interpreting: This enables Deaf people to communicate with a Health and Social Care professional in person, via an online BSL or ISL video interpreter.

How it works:
The Deaf person and the Health and Social Care service provider are together in the same location, while the interpreter is online via secure video link on a screen (e.g. a tablet, smart phone, or computer).

To ensure immediate access to telephone services at this time the Video Relay Service will be introduced first.

If you have had to arrange to have a consultation with a Deaf sign language user, you can pre-book a VRI session here.

We will need your name, email address and date and time of requested VRI session.

You can select either BSL or ISL during the booking process.

You can also request a pre-booked time slot by calling: 0333 344 7712 during office hours (leaving a message with your contact details when out of hours)

Please note: It is recommended that pre-bookings are made at least 72 hours (3 days) before the appointment is required.
Pre-bookings can be made for appointments up to 10 working days in advance.

Book here

You only need to use your ordinary telephone (landline/mobile) – no app or registration required.

  • All you have to do is call 0333 344 6012 and ask for the person by name
  • The Deaf sign language user has to be registered and have the app on their phone to receive calls
  • The online interpreter will relay your call to the user.

Need to contact NHS 111 for COVID-19 advice?

To contact NHS111, please visit: www.interpreternow.co.uk/nhs111ni

This part of the service is a Video Relay Service (VRS) that enables Deaf people to telephone NHS111 via a remote BSL or ISL interpreter.

How it works:
The Deaf person contacts the interpreter via the InterpreterNow app, using their smartphone or tablet, or via the secure video link using a computer. Once they are connected, the interpreter telephones NHS111 on the Deaf person’s behalf.