Translation and Interpretation Service

Our commitment

We are committed to ensuring that everyone receives information in a format which is accessible to them and which they can understand. Communication with healthcare staff to make informed decisions about your care and treatment is essential, with particular regard to issues surrounding consent and the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

We have a duty under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments for those with a disability, or who experience barriers to accessing our services. The Trust aims to improve access to information through the use of ‘easy read’, braille, British Sign Language, and non-English languages. This may also include sending an email rather than offering printed information, so it can be read by voice software. Ensuring that information is available to all in a format which meets your needs is an aim of NHS England’s proposed ‘Accessible Information Standard’.

What are Translation and Interpretation Services?

Translation is defined as the written transmission of information from one language to another. This includes the conversion of written information into Braille and may be extended to include the production of easy read information.

Interpretation is defined as the oral transmission of information from one language to another. This includes the conversion of spoken language into British Sign Language (BSL), and other sign languages (such as Makaton). Interpreting can be provided by telephone (text) or face-to-face communication (including video-link).

We are committed to offering high quality:

  • Non-English Language support service, including face to face interpreting, telephone interpreting, and document translation
  • British Sign Language service and written translation services.
  • Easy Read Information
  • Other accessible formats (including Braille, Audio, Large Print etc)

Whilst it is the responsibility of our staff to ensure they are aware of the current arrangements for meeting the communication needs of our patients, it is your responsibility to inform us of any reasonable adjustments which may help us to deliver the best possible care for you and your family and friends.

British Sign Language users

As a member of the 2015 NHS Employers Equality and Diversity Partners Programme, we have been fortunate to share ideas with our colleagues around the UK. Another NHS organisation, together with their local authority have consented to us adopting the below BSL interpreting cards.

The cards will enable service users to highlight to staff their additional needs. As a BSL user (patient, parent, carer, relative), please hand this card to a member of staff who will find instructions on the reverse on how to book translation and interpretation services. Staff will book a double appointment where possible to allow time for interpretation together with the ensuring the additional need is flagged on your personal records.

For more information on how to use this card, please see the supporting leaflet on How to use the BSL Interpreting Card.

BSL Interpreting Card

InterpretersLive! video service

Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust enables British Sign Language users to contact us using a sign language interpreter, through the InterpretersLive! service, provided by Sign Solutions.

Contact us through a sign language interpreter

Service availability

Our InterpretersLive! video service hours are 8am to 12 midnight, 7 days a week. If an interpreter is not immediately available, please hold or retry later. Outside of these hours, please contact us to pre-book an interpreter who can be online within 30 minutes.

Minimum requirements

This service is accessible via Windows, and Apple Mac OSX supported devices. You need a webcam and a broadband upload speed of 1Mb and Flash player. When accessing the service for the first time via iPad or Android device, please contact us for your free app invitation.

The service is compatible with the following browsers:

  • Google Chrome version 46 and later
  • Firefox version 45 and later
  • Opera version 39 and later

If you are using Safari 9 or Internet Explorer 11, you will be prompted to download a plugin. You will only need to do this once. Next time you access the service, you will be taken straight to the call button.


If you are having difficulties connecting to the InterpretersLive! service, please watch our troubleshooting guide video (video transcript available).

Alternatively, contact Sign Solutions for further help or to provide feedback on the service.

If you wish to make a complaint, please follow our guidelines.


Sign Solutions providers of InterpretersLive! are certified ISO 27001 and ISO 9001, all data is processed and held securely. As a certified organisation we are committed to continuous improvement and are externally assessed annually, to ensure progress is maintained.

Useful links

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