Communications support

Overcoming communication barriers to make sure all patients can access our services

Every day, we respond to thousands of patients across the North East, many of whom face communication challenges, such as a hearing impairment, requiring information in easy read or having little understanding of the English language.

Whether it’s over the phone or in person, additional support is available to help all patients access and benefit from our services.


If you need help when calling 999 or 111, our health advisors have access to interpreters who provide translation services.

Relay UK for Deaf, hard of hearing or you have a speech-impairment

For people who are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired and find it difficult to use a phone, Relay UK allows them to alert ambulance, police, fire or coastguard services by either calling via a relay assistant or texting a message to 999 using the emergencySMS service.

Find out how to register for this service and contact 999 using Relay UK.

Pictorial communications

Our frontline staff also have access to an interactive online tool, which contains easy to understand pictures for common ailments. This allows patients to show them what’s wrong and enables our paramedics to show patients what they’re doing and why, and what will happen next.

For more information about how we can support you to access our services, please email

Easy read documents

Patient information is available in easy read format here.