Making information accessible

NHS Fife has a duty of care to provide accessible information for all those involved as patients, carers or as members of the public in health services and functions. Not everyone is able to communicate in English we therefore must support their access to and involvement in the NHS via a variety of means, making the NHS fairer. NHS Fife will provide communication in forms that meet all communication needs ensuring that patients are very much involved in their care.

Not to provide accessible communication is discriminatory.

Adults with learning disabilities

People with learning disabilities find it hard to understand complicated written communication. Making your information accessible can enable your service-users to make informed choices and to feel included in their care.

NHS Fife provides interpreting and translation services for patients who:

  • do not have English as their first language
  • have a hearing impairment
  • have a sight impairment
  • have a speech impairment
  • are registered Deafblind
  • have a Learning Disability

Community Language Interpreting

For patients who require a Community Language Interpreter NHS Fife has access to qualified interpreters via the telephone. This service is provided 24 hours a day and 7 days a week in over 150 languages.

NHS Fife also has a contract with a local company to provide face-to-face Community Language Interpreters if required.

Interpreters for patients with a Hearing or Hearing and Sight Impairment

NHS Fife provides interpreters for patients with a hearing, sight or hearing and sight impairment. This includes British Sign Language Interpreters, Lip-speaker Interpreters, Note Taker Interpreters and Deafblind Guides.

Join our SMS Text Service for patients with a Hearing Impairment

NHS Fife has a SMS text service for patients who are unable to contact NHS Fife verbally via the telephone, for example, BSL (British Sign Language) users, patients who are hard of hearing and patients with a speech impairment. If you would like to register to use this service please send text to 07805 800 005.  Once we receive your text a registration form will be sent out to you for completion.

Translation Services

 NHS Fife staff can provide translations of patient information into other languages, Braille, Large Print, Audio or Easy Read formats. If you require this service please let the staff involved in your care know.


The Fife Advocacy Strategy 2018 - 2021 sets out how we will provide independent advocacy services in Fife and continue to improve awareness of and access to services to ensure the best outcomes for people who are unable to speak up for themselves.