COVID-19 and Patients with Deafness and Hearing Loss

Last update 3 September 2020

Communication Tips

A document from charity RNID, giving some simple accessibility tips for ensuring good communication with patients (129 KB DOC) with deafness and hearing loss during the pandemic.

Remote Consulting

Some tips for remote consulting:

  • Ask for and meet communication needs where possible Instead of using the telephone, where possible use video conferencing tools and add live captioning through video conferencing software
  • Utilise RelayUK for people with hearing loss
  • Utilise Video Relay Services, such as InterpreterNow, for British Sign Language users

British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters

BSL Health Access service provides immediate, on-demand access to BSL interpreters for communication with Deaf people in all health settings, including pharmacy, opticians, general practice and dentists, free of charge during the current coronavirus situation. Access to BSL interpreters take place through two methods: Video Relay Services (VRS)—when a BSL interpreter relays information over a telephone call between a BSL user and the hearing person receiving or making the call; and Video Remote Interpreting (VRI)—where a remote interpreter is used to facilitate communication with a Deaf and hearing person in the same location.

Audiology services in the UK

Audiology and Otology guidance during COVID-19 (1.61 MB PDF) - from UK's audiology professional bodies - 1 September 2020


Articles for Further Reading