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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

British Sign Language Interpreters ripped off by NHS contractor

From NUBSLI via Linda Burnip of Disabled People Against Cuts

NUBSLI is the National Union of British Sign Language Interpreters. 

LanguageLine has won NHS contracts in Sheffield, London and the Midlands by putting in bids at below market rates. They are now imposing cuts of a third to interpreters fees and reducing booking times by 1 hour. 

It is impossible to provide a high quality and safe service if you are constantly clock watching. Deaf people, often need information to be repeated after they leave an appointment to make sure everything has been understood or will need support in accessing the pharmacy. Appointments aren't always over when you leave the consulting room. That extra level of care and support from
Interpreters will go if they are being pushed to get to the next appointment. 

The way in which home carers are being pressured to take more bookings for less money is the way interpreting will be headed if we don't put a stop to these cuts. This isn't about money for interpreters. This is about deaf people's access to Heath care. 

Dude Swheatie adds: In seeking guidance for a friend who was thinking of training as a British Sign Language Interpreter, I was advised a few years ago that the training is highly specialised, as Sign Language Interpreters register not just hand actions but also the facial gestures involved in conveying the message. Thus it takes about 5 years intensive training to train a British Sign Language Interpreter.

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