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Digital interpreter devices to be introduced at UHNM after successful trial

Patients from University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM) are set to benefit from digital interpreter devices following a successful trial.

The ‘Insight’ devices allow staff to break down the language barrier with patients through on-demand video calls to live interpreters. 

Wards and departments from across UHNM worked with the Trust’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) to utilise the benefits of the service, which provides access to video interpreters in more than 40 languages, audio interpreting in more than 200 languages as well as British Sign Language. 

The device which is essentially an ‘interpreter on wheels’ allows wards and departments to access one-touch, on-demand video access to live interpreters, many of which are available on a 24/7 basis, with others available during UK daytime hours. 

Sophie Reid, UHNM Complaints, PALS and Volunteers Services Manager, said: “This has been an amazing project that has really made a difference to patients in our care and is something we are very proud of. 

“During and post the Covid-19 pandemic we saw a huge decline in access to interpreters which was having a direct impact on patient care, as their appointments  and admission dates were being rescheduled due to a lack of interpreter availability.  Since utilising the Insight devices, they have supported in reducing the number of cancelled inpatient/outpatient appointments as there is a much wider range of availability.  

“It has also made accessing interpreters much easier as the machines are very user-friendly and most importantly is helping to improve patient experience. We have had some amazing feedback from the staff who have used the devices and wards and departments are really championing these machines and the difference they have made.”