Fund BSL Health Access

Fund BSL Health Access

18 March 2021
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Signatures: 5,468Next Goal: 7,500
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Why this petition matters

Started by SignHealth

As it stands now, 22 March 2021, NHS England funding for BSL Health Access will run out at the end of this month, effectively closing this vital service that has broken down barriers to healthcare for the Deaf community during the pandemic.

To limit the spread of Covid-19, health services across the country switched to phone consultations, leaving many Deaf people without access to basic healthcare during a national health crisis. 

The closure of BSL Health Access is devastating for those of us who have relied on the service throughout the pandemic. 

After investing £800,000 from their reserves, the Deaf health charity SignHealth are unable to cover the costs of the service and the NHS has not committed any further funding for April 1st onwards. 

Please join us in calling on NHS England to continue funding this vital service.

The pandemic is not over. As social distancing measures continue, PPE continues to limit lip-reading and the UK takes on the largest ever vaccine deployment programme, BSL Health Access has never been more needed.

Feedback received from BSL Health Access service users:

“Was in the hospital and used my iPad to access app. It saved my life.”

“I used BSL Health Access and it was amazing, solved all of my communication barriers.” 

Over the last year, BSL Health Access facilitated 25,000 conversations between Deaf people and health professionals. The service enabled important conversations at hospice centres with the Deaf relatives of people at the end of their lives. Vital conversations happened at hospitals (18% of the conversations) where Deaf patients were unable to have interpreters or family members present due to social distancing restrictions. 61% of conversations were to and from GPs. Urgent conversations were also held with emergency services at homes with sick babies and elderly family members.  

Please join us in calling on NHS England to continue funding BSL Health Access.

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Signatures: 5,468Next Goal: 7,500
Support now