Health, Mental Health & Wellbeing BSL users will have access to the information and services they need to live active, healthy lives, and to make informed choices at every stage of their lives.

By 2020

Scottish Ministers will


Publish a schedule for making all screening and immunisation information accessible in BSL.  NHS Scotland will produce information in BSL to support Bowel, Breast and Cervical screening programmes.  NHS Scotland will produce information in BSL to support Childhood and Seasonal Flu immunisation programmes.  This information will be easy to find on the ‘NHS Inform’ website.


Increase the availability of accurate and relevant health and social care information in BSL and will work with BSL users* to determine where this information should be located. NHS Health Scotland and NHS 24 will deliver this work in partnership and will review progress in 2019 and every two years thereafter.


Work with local authorities, providers and service users to improve the way that adult social care is delivered, including how residential care is commissioned and how care and support is delivered to people at home. The voices and experiences of service users, including BSL users will be at the centre of these reforms and will shape planning and implementation and improve outcomes.


Take forward the work to extend free personal care to everyone who requires it, regardless of age, taking account of the views and needs of BSL users.


Develop a learning resource for health and social care staff to raise awareness of BSL and Deaf culture. This will be led by NHS Health Scotland and will be rolled out across Scotland by 2018.


We will agree how to improve individual patient health records so that they clearly show when the first or preferred language is BSL and a BSL/English interpreter is needed. NHS services can then be notified in advance of any appointments.


Ensure that - in line with Scotland’s Mental Health Strategy 2017-2027 -  BSL users should get the right help at the right time, expect recovery, and fully enjoy their rights, free from discrimination and stigma.  By 2020:

  1. NHS Boards and Integration Authorities should take action so that psychological therapies can be offered on a fair and equal basis to BSL users.
  2. NHS 24 and NHS Health Scotland will develop information about mental health accessible for BSL users through ‘NHS Inform’.
  3. NHS 24 will explore how telemedicine initiatives like ‘Breathing Space’ can provide counselling in BSL as an easy-to-access mental health support.


Implement a new national Interpretation and Translation Policy which includes BSL provision. This will be led by NHS Health Scotland and will provide guidance to support delivery across all NHS boards by 2018.


Work with partners to deliver and evaluate two training programmes aimed at supporting BSL/English interpreters to work within the Health sector, with a view to informing a longer-term approach.


Work with sport governing bodies and with ‘sportscotland’ to improve access to information and sporting opportunities for BSL users.


Ensure that the national strategy to address social isolation and loneliness which will be published for consultation in Autumn 2017 will make explicit reference to the experience and needs of BSL users.

BSL Progress Report 2021 Scottish Government
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