Remote language services during the pandemic

Over the past several months, the UK and the whole of the world have been continually impacted by COVID-19. Businesses everywhere have been forced into difficult positions and to adapt incredibly quickly as remote working became the new norm.

Essential services and workers have taken on additional safety measures and continue to provide amazing service despite COVID-19. Of course, well deserved praise for essential workers has been given. Our NHS and local councils have formed a united front to help protect the UK from COVID-19 and treat those in need.

The NHS has done and continues to do an incredible job. All of their suppliers are proud to have supported the NHS especially during the pandemic. However, suppliers were also forced to adapt. NHS suppliers had to figure out the best way to continue to support their clients without compromising on service.

DA Languages is one of the biggest providers of face-to-face interpreting to the public sector including the NHS. We currently support over 70 NHS Trusts with language services. As many practices, hospitals and GPs were forced to find alternative solutions so that patients could still access the care and support they needed. Making sure that patients understand what is happening in the face of the pandemic was a key priority. It was key that all patients, including non-English speakers and Deaf/Hard of Hearing patients, were aware of the changes that the NHS were having to make.

Translation to overcome COVID-19

Many communications went out via text, as well as letters, informational leaflets both via post and online publications. DA Languages provided translation for the COVID-19 safety materials used across the UK and within local practices. These help to support their communication to non-English-speaking patients.

As we have seen, BAME communities have been heavily affected by COVID-19. This highlights how important translation and language services are in helping save lives and reach to communities who are at risk due to language barriers.

DA Languages’ translation team worked around the clock so that all COVID-19 materials were completed efficiently with high quality. We supported our clients on best practice for translation. Also, we helped them make sure that patients and end-users were receiving the correct information. It also helped to reduce the number of calls to 111 by translating FAQs and websites so that non-English speakers found what they need as quickly as possible.

Telephone interpreting

Of course, we have seen in the rise of calls to both NSPCC and domestic abuse helplines during lockdown. While calls to NHS 111 and other medical practices fell as people became more aware of COVID-19, it is clear to see the impact that the lockdown has had on the UK.

DA Languages’ telephone interpreting became a staple addition to helplines for both the NHS and charities as more calls coming in, included calls from non-English speakers. We have fully automated clients telephone interpreting. We have on-boarded entire NHS trusts onto our telephone interpreting system within the hour in order to help accommodate the increasing number of calls. With an average connection time of 20 seconds, non-English callers don’t have to wait long in order to be listened to and understood. Overall, their their treatment and support is sped up.

Furthermore, as many appointments moved to phone and remote, telephone interpreting became of common use within councils and GP practices as they could talk to clients and carry out full sessions efficiently and cost-effectively.

Video interpreting

Naturally, as one of the top providers for face-to-face interpreting to the NHS, you might wonder DA Languages could do continue to provide language support that could match this service’s benefits. DA Languages’ video interpreting worked as the best solution.

Video interpreting still enables all parties to see each other. This provides the feeling of the interpreter being in the room while everyone remains safe. Three-way video interpreting has been an excellent solution throughout the pandemic, especially as remote working becomes increasingly commonplace.

Moreover, our video interpreting solution allowed many of our clients to access even the rarest of languages. These languages are accessed at instantaneously without the worry of getting an interpreter to a physical location. Video interpreting also adds another level of comfort for non-English and Deaf patients. They are reassured that everything they are saying is being heard.

Furthermore, the simple act of talking to someone who understands your language can help provide much-needed support for patients. This is especially the case when sensitive topics are being discussed.

How DA Languages can help your needs during COVID-19

DA Languages has successfully provided and innovated our remote services. They have continued to incorporate the needs of our clients and help everyone access the information and service they require – no matter their language.

We are slowly starting to see a rise in face-to-face interpreting. We expect it to return to higher levels as the lockdown is lessened and COVID-19 cases lower. However, we are proud of our remote services and how they have remained robust and adaptive for our clients throughout the pandemic.

If you are interested in any of our language services don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’ll be more than happy to help your needs.

A photo of a doctor wearing a mask to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.
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