Resources for working with Deaf and sensory impaired patients and their carers

Signhealth including daily update in British Sign Language (BSL) with subtitles

Signhealth is committed to making sure coronavirus information is available in sign language and is providing coronavirus information and daily updates on its website.

Guidance for the care of people who are dual sensory impaired

Hearing support and visual impairment support UK have developed guidance to help those supporting or caring for an older person with dual sensory impairment during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Guide 1
Guide 2

Public Health England resources (BSL and subtitled)

A range of resources to explain coronavirus to those with sensory impairments are available on the Public Health England campaign resource site.

Access to help and advice


If someone needs medical advice about their coronavirus symptoms and has a sensory impairment they can call NHS111 in BSL by:

·         Visiting

·         Using the InterpreterNow app on their phone

·         Using the NHS 111 online service at

A sign language video with access advice is also available.

Text to Shout

Text to Shout is a text messaging app that supports deaf people who are in crisis and need support. Information about how the service works can be found on their website –

Text to 999 in case of emergency

An emergency 999 text service is available and works on all mobile networks. Users must register first. More information can be found here.

Contact with Deaf people who are textphone or minicom user

The Next Generation Test service is approved for use in TEWV and replaces that previous text relay service. More information can be found here.

Download a PDF version of this information.

The health, safety and wellbeing of patients’, communities and staff continues to remain a priority, as such, the Trust is allowing visitors but taking proportionate and justifiable measures designed to limit the increased risk of transmission of coronavirus.

All visitors should follow the below guidance.

 Visitor measures the Trust will be taking

Visits in the ward environment

If there are known cases of COVID-19 on the ward, it may be necessary to temporarily restrict on-ward visits.

Special considerations

End of life care

For someone receiving end of life care, the number of visitors at the bedside is to be limited by the ability to maintain social distancing in that environment. Appropriate personal protective equipment for the visitor(s) will be provided.

Patients with dementia, learning disability or autism

Discretion will be applied when the family member/carer is supporting someone with a mental health issue such as dementia, a learning disability or autism, and where not being present would cause the patient to be disproportionately distressed.  However, fundamental infection control measures must remain in place.

If visits cannot be accommodated

If a physical visit cannot be accommodated, the ward will make every effort to support contact with family members and loved ones through ready access to telephones (personal mobiles where risks allow or by ward telephones) or Trust video-meeting devices (such as tablets).


If a person’s mental or emotional state gets worse quickly, this can be referred to as a mental health crisis or a mental health emergency.

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