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’s languages are provided
  • Be aware of dialects of different languages
  • Ensure training is available for reception staff so they inform patients about the service
  • Publicise in GP surgeries that people are able to access an interpreter
  • Make patients aware that they can have two appointments in one

You can read our full engagement report below:

Interpreting Services Engagement report

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What did we do?

We will ensure the recommendations are part of the considerations in future provider service specifications.

You can view how we used the feedback from the engagement in our “You Said, We Did” document. We also ensured this information was passed to our partners to share directly with the people who contributed to the engagement.