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Medical interpretation


With the patient demographic changing rapidly in the UK, the medical field, and the NHS has had to adapt in a relatively short space of time to these changes. This has resulted in many health organisations engaging with qualified and specialised translation and interpretation agencies to help improve the patient experience.

Few industries have been impacted as heavily as the healthcare sector as migrant communities develop throughout the country and therefore medical professionals are tasked with treating patients who have limited English skills OR do not speak English at all.

Here, we will examine how interpreting and translation has become a vital component in helping the NHS and medical industry through this change

  • Providing reassurance and security to patients

From a patients perspective, in what can naturally be a stressful time, many limited English speaking patients admit they wait for an emergency to seek health care, as they fear a situation where they cannot clearly communicate. Which means if they can arrive at their local health care centre and at short notice, be greeted by an interpreter speaking their native language, the quality of patient care improves dramatically. The UK healthcare watchdog NICE highlighted this in 2012 in improving patient care.

  • Helping the pharmaceutical industry develop important drugs

The pharmaceutical sector is one of the most heavily regulated in the world, with a drug taking on average 10-15 years from initial development to prescription.

The Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry estimated recently that it costs £1.15bn on average to get a drug to market

Most countries require the literature and labelling for pharmaceuticals to be translated into the national languages. With the potential for many things to go wrong, and communication with the patient paramount, it is essential to enlist a trusted and respected languages solutions company to help navigate the pitfalls of pharmaceutical translation.

  • The  benefits to the NHS

DA Languages has added value in delivering highly qualified and specialised translation and interpretation services to the NHS. We ensure our services are compliant with government regulations and also are providing an excellent patient experience to limited English speakers.

Our service can also help keep costs down, as limited English speakers without interpreters generally incur higher charges and longer stays than other patients, increasing the cost of patient care.

Without effective language communication patients can even avoid attending appointments.  Costs incurred from not engaging with limited English speaking patients are estimated to cost the NHS over £400 Million last year according to The Guardian.

Our translation and interpreting services benefit both NHS staff as well as patients and help the UK’s health service continue to provide an excellent level of care. We have recently launched new methods for NHS staff to capture vital patient feedback about the language services they receive and look forward to adding even more value for our NHS clients in 2018 and beyond.

Written by Andrew Tattersall
Images produced via Snappa.com.