Relay UK

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Contact 999 with a text using Relay UK

For anyone who’s deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired, the Relay UK service allows you to contact ambulance, police, fire and coastguard services by either texting a message to 999 using the emergencySMS service or calling via a Relay Assistant.

Contact 999 using emergencySMS

To use this service, you must register your phone on the Relay UK website. Once it’s registered, you can send an SMS message to 999 to call for help. 

When you send a text, make sure you include information on which emergency service you need, what the emergency is and your location. Be as precise as you can about your location, for example, include a house number and postcode, or mention a nearby landmark if you’re not at home.

You will get a reply once your message has been received, which can take a couple of minutes. 

Contact 999 using a Relay Assistant

On the Relay UK app, you simply tap the 999 button or dial 18000 and click ‘join’ on the app window. You will then be connected to a Relay Assistant who will ask you which service you need and connect you to the correct emergency service.

Using a textphone, you can dial 18000 to be connected to the emergency services.

Visit the Relay UK website to register your phone and find out more about these services.

BSL relay service

The service uses iPads on vehicles to content patients and paramedics with a remote BSL video interpreter subject to 4/5G connectivity

We have received feedback from Deaf/British Sign Language (BSL) users and colleagues who have experience challenges at the scene of an emergency. This new service hopes to reduce these issues and improve access to our service for Deaf/BSL users when out in the community or at home.

All frontline colleagues will receive training and all parts of the service should be familiar with it by March 2025. 

Read more about the service in our news section.

For more information on the service or to provide feedback please contact diversity@neas.nhs.uk

The video below will be used to help to train staff and shows how the service will work: