British Sign Language (BSL)

BSL National Plan

The Scottish Government has produced a British Sign Language National Plan 2017-23, as required by the BSL (Scotland) Act 2015. It sets out Scotland's ambition to be the best place in the world for BSL users to live, work and visit. Other public bodies, including NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde (NHSGGC), will be publishing their own, local BSL plans. We are currently consulting with our Deaf BSL patients to gather opinions and ideas about what should be included in our local plan. This includes:

Patient Group Involvement – A group of Deaf BSL people who live in the NHSGGC area will advise us when we are writing our local plan, ensuring that all aspects have been considered.

BSL Local Events - We will be running events throughout the NHSGGC area. Dates and venues will be promoted through the BSL Champions Facebook page and Deaf organisations.

Facebook Feedback - We will post questions on the BSL Champions Facebook page based on the points raised in the BSL National Plan.

Event for Deafblind people - We will organise an event along with Deafblind Scotland to gather the opinions and suggestions of Deafblind people.

NHSGGC is already involved a range of activities to help raise awareness amongst patients and staff about BSL as a language and culture and to make sure our patients have access to BSL interpreting whenever they need it -  


BSL Interpreting Service

It is the responsibility of NHSGGC staff to book an interpreter for patients attending any of our healthcare services.
Information for staff 
Information for BSL patients 

BSL Online Interpreting

BSL Online interpreting means that Deaf patients are able to communicate with staff while waiting for a face to face interpreter to arrive. The online service means that staff can quickly link up to an interpreter at any time, 24/7, and communicate with their patient. It’s particularly useful for emergency and unplanned visits and can be used for hospital stays when an interpreter is not always present.
For further information, click here 

Deaf BSL Users & Mental Health

Deaf people can be at higher risk of mental health problems due to communication barriers and isolation. We also know from talking to Deaf patients that they face barriers to accessing mental health services because of a lack of information in British Sign Language and understanding of Deaf culture in general. NHSGGC wants to improve access to mental health services and ensure that they are the best they can be for the Deaf community. We have recently introduced a glossary of BSL signs for mental health on our BSL You Tube channel.
Introduction to Paul Hull, Health Improvement Practitioner (Mental Health and Deaf Community) 
BSL Mental Health A-Z Guide  

BSL - You Tube channel

A wide range of information is available in BSL on our NHSGGC You Tube channel. 

BSL Staff Training

This 10 week course teaches basic skills in using sign and communicating with our Deaf BSL patients. The course is open to all staff and provides the opportunity to learn new skills that can significantly improve the experience of Deaf people using our services. Courses have been held in various venues across NHSGGC and due to an overwhelming response ongoing dates and venues are currently being arranged.

BSL Drama

A BSL drama group, supported by the Equalities & Human Rights Team, gave a number of performances throughout 2017-18 at various NHS sites. This included pantomimes at the Royal Hospital for Children and a play around mental health and Deafness. The productions were performed entirely in British Sign Language (BSL) with spoken language interpreters.

BSL Health Champions

The BSL Health Champions are a group of volunteers from the Deaf BSL community who are patients of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. The Champions advise NHSGGC about the main issues and concerns for BSL patients when using our hospitals and other health services. They also work with us to make information about health accessible for BSL users.

Group meetings are public and any Deaf BSL user who lives in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area is welcome to attend. The group also has a Facebook page which is used to share information and to get feedback from the BSL community. 



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