How it works

InterpreterNow provide:

  • Video Relay Service (VRS)
  • Video Remote Interpreting (VRI)

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 a secure video link on a screen (e.g. a tablet, smartphone, or computer).

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

What can the service be used for?

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 center, 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.


We have a ‘How to’ page that contains video guides on:

  • How to register
  • How to activate the volume in the app
  • How to get a new password
  • How to use the web-based version

>>> Community Support – InterpreterNow

Other useful resources can be found on our ‘Resources’ page: >>> Resources – Health and Social Care Northern Ireland (