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PEOPLE who use British Sign Language (BSL) in the Lothians can now access telehealth service NHS 24.

The pilot service uses online video to connect with a BSL interpreter, who will contact NHS 24, opening up a three-way call. The move is being highlighted as part of Deaf Awareness Week, which runs from today until Sunday.

Lillian Lawson, director of Scottish Council on Deafness, said: “The Scottish Council on Deafness is delighted that positive steps have been taken to ensure that deaf people can access NHS 24 in their own language, namely British Sign Language, and this initiative should give deaf people confidence to use NHS 24 services.”

To use the NHS 24 BSL service, register at www.nhs24.com, selecting BSL from the list of options at other languages.

The move follows the launch of a BSL webcam service for the Breathing Space mental health phone line.