Direct Access has secured a four-year NHS Shared Business Services framework contract to supply sign language interpreters for deaf and hard of hearing patients.
The announcement comes as the nation marks Deaf Awareness Week.
Under the contract, Direct Access will communication services for NHS hospitals, medical clinics, GP and dental practices for both in and out patients across nine NHS regions.
At the height of the COVID pandemic Direct Access became a supplier of ClearMasks, which provided a clear vision panel for deaf and hard of hearing people to lipread the wearer.
“As lockdown restrictions ease and hospital appointments resume, providing sign language interpreters to enable deaf and hard of hearing people to communicate with medical professionals became the next logical step from suppling masks,” said Director Steven Mifsud (pictured), who is also profoundly deaf.
“We will be providing NRCPD registered sign language interpreters from Cornwall to the Scottish Highlands for both routine and emergency medical appointments.
“Direct Access is deaf-owned and deaf-run providing an inherent understanding of the barriers that deaf and hard of hearing people face. I am delighted our team will be addressing these barriers to ensure equitable access to healthcare for deaf people.”