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Signalise Co-op announced as NHS Liverpool CCG main provider

Giving back control to the local community

Nicky Evans • Aug 16, 2021 • 3 min read


Signalise Co-op is delighted to announce that it has been successful in its bid to become the main service provider for BSL services for Liverpool GPs. The new framework agreement by NHS Liverpool CCG is part of a wider programme to improve access to healthcare and includes provision for other NHS partners from Merseyside and Cheshire to join the arrangements in the coming year. The new sign language services go live for GPs in Liverpool on the 1st September 2021.

What makes Signalise different is that it is co-owned and co-run by both members of the local Deaf community and BSL/English interpreters, and any profit made is reinvested into the co-op and its community. Deaf board member, Geraldine O’Halloran explains the significance of this development:

“At long last we have an Co-operative that really does listen and involve Deaf members. Our motto is “nothing about us without us” and this means Signalise Co-op puts Deaf clients at the very center of the service. This has never happened before — Deaf people have a real opportunity to take back control and ensure we work with our interpreters, as partners, to get the service we need. A great day, and liberating for the Deaf community. If you are a Liverpool Deaf community member — why not get involved — come and join us”.

Achievements for the co-op over the past year:

● Signalise raised £328,250 in a recent Community Share Offer. The offer ended in June 2021, and it was £28,000 over its £300,000 target!

● Signalise was awarded funding by the Liverpool City Region Future Innovation Fund. The funding was to develop a VRS service (video interpreting), which helped them win this contract.

● £10,000 donation from the National Education Union (NEU).

About Signalise Co-op

Signalise Co-op is a multi-stakeholder platform co-operative established in 2019 to revolutionise the booking of British Sign Language Interpreters by creating an online booking system designed entirely by its users. Deaf people are able to have choice and control over the interpreters they use and by running a platform co-operative (where everything is automated and online), costs are kept down, meaning interpreters are paid fairly. High profile supporters include John McDonnell MP and disability activist and author Ellen Clifford.

Our full statement:

We have some brilliant news to share with you — Signalise Co-op bid for the CCG Contract to deliver a fully accessible BSL NHS Health interpreting service in Liverpool has been successful. We are delighted to be working with Liverpool CCG to deliver an accessible and user-led provision.

Signalise Co-op is a user-led Co-operative of Deaf community members and local Interpreters — we are equal partners — this means we can help to develop and deliver an accessible communication service for local NHS medical access. Remember Deaf people are the experts of their own needs, we know what we need to get the right support, information and advice on our medical access.

At long last we have a Co-operative that really does listen and involve Deaf members. Our motto is “nothing about us without us”, and this means Signalise Co-op puts Deaf clients at the very centre of the service. This has never happened before — Deaf people have a real opportunity to take back control and ensure we work with our interpreters, as partners, to get the service we need. A great day, and liberating for the Deaf community. If you are a Liverpool Deaf community member — why not get involved — come and join us.

by Geraldine O’Halloran with BSL by Sarah Hannett, former Signalise Board Members.