Telephone Interpreting Service

Lead: NHS Leeds CCG

Period: 1st Dec 2019 - 27th Jan 2020

We recently reviewed the interpreting service on offer when patients visit their GP. We were keen to talk to people who used or needed this service.

Brief description of the project

Our Primary Care team recently made a decision to include the telephone interpreting service as part of a new British Sign Language (BSL) interpreting contract.

The new contract will be a joint one with NHS Wakefield CCG. We have engaged with the D/deaf and hard of hearing people around the BSL interpreting contract and you can read about that here:

Who did we speak to?

55 people who need or use telephone language interpreting services when they visit their GP practice contributed to the second piece of engagement. People from several communities including Romanian, Arabic, Polish and Farsi groups took part.

What and how did we ask?

In order to engage with people who don’t speak English as their first language, we asked our partners to carry out focus groups on our behalf within their own communities. They used a survey at drop-ins and asked the following questions:

  1. Are you aware that a translation service exists at your GP practice for your appointment?
  2. How was your experience of making your GP appointment?
  3. How was your experience of using the interpreting service during your appointment?

What did people tell us?

  • Ensure that the local community languages are being catered for
  • Be aware of different dialects within languages
  • Ensure training is available for reception staff so they can inform patients about the service
  • Publicise the interpreter service in GP surgeries
  • More time is needed in appointments for patients who need an interpreter

You can read our full engagement report below:

Interpreting Services Engagement report

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What did we do?

  • The provider has assured us that they will ensure that all languages are provided for, and will take into account local dialects wherever possible.
  • The contract requires the provider to design and deliver education and awareness sessions with GP practices.
  • We are currently having conversations with practices to develop a communications plan to publicise the service.
  • Double appointments will be offered to patients who need interpreters.


You said, we did (239KB)

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Engagement Plan (603KB)

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