§ Mr. Ashley
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action is being undertaken by his Department to address the shortage of registered sign language interpreters for deaf patients.
§ Mr. Dorrell
The Department provides grant aid to the Council for the Advancement of Communication with Deaf People, which arranges courses in communication with deaf people and maintains a register of interpreters. The Department has also, for a number of years, grant-aided the British Sign Language Training Authority. The availability of sign language interpreters to deaf people seeking health care is a matter for local health service management, who are best placed to determine and provide for the local need for such a service.