The NHS Challenge
When Covid-19 spread to the UK early last year in 2020, there were many changes to the systems. As a language service provider, we have worked with Wiltshire NHS Trust hospital over the years and were called upon to help transform the current services so they would not crumble under overpressure.
This included appointments, outpatient and inpatient consultations. Our interpreters usually assist departments such as mental health, orthopaedic, cardiac, eye treatment, oncology, antenatal, paediatrics, ENT, fracture clinic, maternity, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, urology, A&E, and lately corona care units.
This was the most popular choice of interpreting before the pandemic hit as remote services such as telephone and video interpreting became more commonly used. F2F interpreting is the best choice when dealing with sensitive or complex matters which need a more personal approach as it provides a greater context of the situation, especially through non-verbal communication. If patients had to come in for their appointments that could not be conducted online, an interpreter would be present.
We have thousands of professional linguists on our system. During this period, we searched for interpreters who were healthy, open to travel for bookings and had access to PPE (personal protective equipment).
We have witnessed how the NHS interpreting and other medical practices have changed due to the pandemic; we have adapted our services to offer smoother and effective alternatives such as telephone and video interpreting.
Many face-to-face bookings were moved to telephone bookings as an effective alternative, especially as a more cost effective option for our clients. This also allowed increased geographical accessibility to find interpreters.
Telephone interpretations can be chosen to your convenience, a meeting usually lasts roughly between 30-45 minutes on average but can be as short as 10 mins or as long as 2 hours depending on the patient and health professional consultation. Our telephone interpreting services are available all day, at any time. It is also perfect for last-minute meetings if you are in urgent need of language assistance.
If a screen was needed for a booking, we suggested video interpreting as a remote choice due to easy accessibility on a laptop, computer, tablet, or phone. An interpreter and a Wi-Fi connection are all that is needed.
This is an upgrade from telephone interpretation sessions as non-verbal communication is clear through body language and facial expressions. This also allows BSL interpreters to be able to communicate clearly in a remote manner.
BSL (British Sign Language)
One of our popular services is BSL interpreting has won us numerous happy customers.
BSL (British Sign Language) is officially the second most used language after English. All booking requests we received have been face-to-face or video interpreting. We have hundreds of sign language interpreters nationwide.
We only employ professional, experienced, and qualified BSL interpreters not only for NHS interpreting but other customers too.