A PIONEERING British Sign Language (BSL) system has been introduced at the area’s hospitals to make services more accessible for patients, families, colleagues and anyone who uses BSL.

SignLive will enable patients who use BSL to contact University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust 24 hours a day, with the service now operating at Furness General Hospital in Barrow, Millom Hospital, Ulverston Community Health Centre, Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal, the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and the Queen Victoria Hospital in Morecambe.

SignLive is a free service that connects people to a qualified online BSL interpreter. The interpreter will relay the conversation between you and a member of staff and it can also be used for face-to-face conversations on site.

Barry Rigg, head of patient experience for the hospital trust, said: “SignLive is a great new service at our Trust which will benefit patients, families, carers, visitors and anyone who wishes to use BSL when accessing our services.

“We hope this service will vastly improve the experience for everyone who uses BSL to communicate with our Trust.”

SignLive was established in 2014 by Joel Kellhofer, an entrepreneur and active member of the British deaf community.

The technology is developed in-house by a team that has been working with relay and remote interpreting systems for more than ten years.

And SignLive was the first service to offer 24/7 availability; a huge step in the quest for greater access, giving BSL users the option to contact organisations outside standard nine-to-five business hours.

People can download the SignLive app onto their mobile phone or tablet.

Alternatively, people can use SignLive on their computer by visiting www.signlive.co.uk/login.

A sign language video explaining SignLive at UHMBT is available here.

For more information go to the SignLive website.