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Patient and visitor information

Interpreters and accessibility

We aim to ensure that our services are accessible to all patients. To help people access our services, we offer a range of help and assistance.

Interpreter service

We can provide interpreter services using telephone and face-to-face interpreters. Telephone interpreting is available from any of our telephones. When needed, we can arrange for an interpreter, including sign language or lip speaking, to attend your outpatient consultation or inpatient stay:

  • outpatient appointment: for an outpatient visit please contact the department you're visiting before your consultation. Please call the number on your appointment card or letter.
  • inpatient stay: to discuss having an interpreter during your inpatient stay in hospital, please contact the ward you will be staying on before your admission date. Please call the number on your admission notification letter.

The PALS service can help you to arrange an interpreter or check a booking has been made. Find out more on the PALS webpage

Fax machines

If you need to use a fax machine during your time in hospital, this can be easily arranged - just ask a member of staff.


If you use a textphone, we use a system called Text Relay which helps you get in touch with us. Text Relay allows you to call any phone number in any of our hospitals, and also helps our staff to contact you.

If you want to get in touch with us using a textphone, simply put 18001 in front of the phone number. For example, contacting our switchboard would be 18001 0191 213 6161.

Loop systems

We have loop systems in place in many areas across our hospitals for hearing aid users.


From computers in the Trust, staff can access Deafsign to support communication with you. Staff will be able to type in instructions, and the on-screen translation service will convert to British Sign Language.

Wheelchairs or other special equipment  

You are welcome to bring with you any special equipment that you need to meet your specific needs during your time in hospital. However, we recommend that you contact the nurse in charge of the area in the hospital before your admission.

Guide dogs

Guide dogs are permitted in all of our hospitals. It is the responsibility of the owner to feed, water and walk their guide dog while in hospital.


If you are, or have a carer, please tell the nurse in charge of the ward you are coming to so they can take your needs into account.

Any other assistance

If you need assistance getting to the ward or department you are visiting, please ask the receptionist in the main entrance area who will arrange help for you.

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