Project Description

NHS Trusts

InterpreterNow can provide a bespoke solution when it comes to communication with deaf and deafblind people who use British Sign Language (BSL) as their main or preferred means to communication within medical settings. Including, but not limited to; acute specialist and non-specialist trusts; foundation trusts; and mental health trusts.

What is and where can video Remote Interpreting (VRI) and Video Relay Service (VRS) be used?

InterpreterNow can be used in one single site or on a multi-site basis. Packages are offered that include a set number of login credentials that allow you to allocate as appropriate. This can be from one for a single site or 10 for the same site but held within different departments or 10 spread across a geographical area where deaf people will access services.

Video Remote Interpreting (VRI): Is where one-to-one communication between a deaf person and a hearing person in the same location will be possible using InterpreterNow’s Video Remote Interpreting.

This will be available through the InterpreterNow app on smartphones, tablets, or through a web page on a desktop or laptop computers (PC/Mac).

E.g. Health professional (Doctor, nurse, physio etc) having consultation with deaf BSL user presenting themselves at the emergency department or when on ward.


Video Relay Service (VRS): Is where communication can take place when three people are in three different locations using InterpreterNows’s Video Relay Service.

This will be available through the InterpreterNow app on smartphones, tablets, or through a web page on a desktop or laptop computers (PC/Mac).

E.g. Deaf BSL user calling in to check or change an appointment at a scheduled clinic or a consultant’s secretary calling a deaf person to confirm or change an appointment.


Can VRI/VRS replace the need for face-to-face BSL/English interpreting provision?

No, it s not intended to replace the need for face-to-face interpreting, in fact, we see this as complementary to face-to-face provision. This is especially true when an interpreter is on route or when a deaf patient presents themselves at non-scheduled appointments such as emergency departments or as ‘parents’ of a hearing child seeking information etc. It can also be of benefit during ward rounds, ad hoc discussions between dietitians, ward staff etc. We tend to say that VRI should only be used when nothing else would happen!

Is patient information secure?

We, InterpreterNow, do not retain any patient information, or staff for that matter, whatsoever. Our calls, both video and telephony, are not recorded and we do not retain any written data that identifies any individual. We may, depending on reporting requirements that are in place, record and report on high level information on service use such as:

  • Hospital/service name
  • Department contacted
  • Reason for contact (appointment, consultation etc)

Interpreter Qualifications

InterpreterNow only engages BSL interpreters who:

  • Have achieved a minimum level of training and qualification (NRCPD / SASLI)
  • Have a minimum of 3 years post-qualification experience
  • Undertake Continuing Professional Development
  • Hold Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Hold current Enhanced DBS clearance
  • Adhere to a professional Code of Conduct
  • Are beholden to an independent Complaints Procedure
  • Adhere to InterpreterNow’s Code of Practice

Our technology

Our platform that we use, nWise/MMX, is a world renown system that has been specifically developed for video/telecommunications with deaf sign language users. InterpreterNow runs the MMX system on a UK-based datacentre which ensures that no user data goes off-shore. The datacentre is highly secure, referred to as Tier 4, one of the highest security levels, and the servers are dual-redundant, meaning they have very high levels of availability with instant switch-over backup power supplies and internet gateways.

What we already provide:

InterpreterNow, working with its partner interpreting organisations, provides VRS (Video Relay Services) and VRI services to clients including:

  • NHS 111, the national non-emergency medical advice telephone service – VRS
  • National Pandemic Flu Service, Public Health England’s pandemic flu triage and antiviral-issuing telephone-based service – VRS
  • NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde – VRI services across the estate from A&E to in-patient services – VRI
  • contactSCOTLAND-BSL, the national Scottish VRS service that connects deaf people to all Scottish public bodies and voluntary organisations – VRS
  • Leicestershire Police 101 non-emergency telephone service – VRS
  • A number of NHS Trusts, Hospitals, and GPs – VRI
  • The Department of Health’s Tablets For Health project (research project assessing impact of access to VRS and VRI on a large cohort of deaf people) – VRS and VRI

InterpreterNow is constantly improving access to communication and services for deaf people.

More Information

For more information on InterpreterNow VRI and VRS services please contact us for further details – contact us.

Download our InterpreterNow factsheet (PDF)