Emergency Video Relay Service for BSL Users available in 2022 (with BSL)

Ofcom have announced that BSL users will be able to contact emergency services using video relay in 2022.

Ofcom are requiring telephone and broadband providers to offer a free 24/7 video relay service for BSL users to contact the emergency services, via a dedicated mobile app and website.

Ofcom announced their decision on 22nd June 2021.  In March 2021 a relay service which supported BSL users to communicate with healthcare providers ceased due to a lack of funding.  See link below for more information about this.

Link to news article about the cessation of the Signhealth service

BSL users have been able contact emergency services by sending a text message to 999.  They can communicate with other people using the Ofcom-approved text relay service.  These services will continue for the time being. 

BSL users will have to wait until 2022 for the new service, which will use video relay and provide users with a free service, provided they have access to video on smartphone, tablet or computer.  A link to the Ofcom announcement can be found below:

New emergency video relay service for sign language users – Ofcom