COVID-19 information for people with communication differences
Thursday, 4 March 2021
COVID-19 information on NHS inform
NHS inform has a significant amount of information on COVID-19, in English and in alternative formats, as well as a self help guide: www.nhsinform.scot/self-help-guides/self-help-guide-coronavirus-covid-19 to check your symptoms and find out what to do next.
This is being regularly updated with the latest clinically approved guidance in partnership with Public Health Scotland. Visit: www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus
They have also developed brand new communication channels to help as many people as possible access the COVID-19 information they are providing.
NHS Inform are providing alternative formats to help people with communication differences
access COVID-19 information:
• translations in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Farsi, Hindi, Polish, Punjabi, Romanian, Slovak,
Spanish and Urdu are available. Visit: www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus
• British Sign Language (BSL) translations are available on NHS inform: www.nhsinform.scot/BSL
and on YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/nhsinform
• audio versions: www.nhsinform.scot/translations/formats/audio
• easy read documents: www.nhsinform.scot/translations/formats/easy-read
The Browsealoud tool helps users access information on NHS inform by: reading this aloud, highlighting and magnifying text, creating audio files. Find out more here: www.nhsinform.scot/accessibility
Other communication channels
We’ve developed tools, giving people a choice of how to get the COVID-19 information they need:
• chat bot: ask COVID questions directly on the website: https://ask.nhsinform.scot
This is an automated service. Users who can’t find the information they need will be offered the option to start a webchat
• NHS 24 COVID app: available to download free from the App Store and Google Play.
This includes the COVID-19 symptom checker and COVID-19 information from NHS inform
• webchat: option offered to people who call the COVID helpline (0800 028 2816)
• voice bot: automated voice option lets people who don’t use the internet access the coronavirus self-help guide. This is available by phoning the NHS inform helpline (0800 22 44 88)
Getting COVID-19 information over the phone
People with communication differences can access the COVID-19 helpline (and all other NHS 24 phone services) in a number of ways:
• people whose first or preferred language is not English can use Language Line (a free over the phone interpreting service).
• British Sign Language (BSL) users can use contactSCOTLAND-BSL (a free BSL interpreting video relay service). Find out more here contactscotland-bsl.org
• people with hearing and speech differences can use Relay UK (a national relay service
accessible via textphone or the Relay UK app). Find out more here www.relayuk.bt.com