NHS interpreter consultation

7 Reasons to use a professional medical interpreter

Prestige Network Blog, BSL, Interpreting, Public Sector

patient medical interpreter

The BMJ has published an informative blog called “Can patients use family members as non-professional interpreters in consultations?” explaining why it is better to use a professional medical interpreter than a friend or family member.

Key reasons they discuss for using a professional interpreter for your medical consultations, procedures and emergencies are:

  1. They should have a medical skillset which ensures that the correct message is relayed.
  2. Interpreters should be neutral, passive and impartial, and not place their own emphasis on the diagnosis. They can also explain bad news without additional emotion which could be otherwise unhelpful.
  3. Using a family member, especially a child to interpret could lead to lasting harm, whether from missing school to being traumatised by what they see and hear.
  4. Additional people in the consultation may hinder communication, in that the patient may not be heard. A professional interpreter is trained for this, whereas a family member may be tempted to answer for the patient.
  5. An untrained interpreter can actually put the patient in danger and pose risks for the care provider.
  6. Patient confidentiality is more likely to be compromised if a family member or friend is interpreting.
  7. The family member may not understand English sufficiently to translate adequately.

So why use Prestige Network for medical interpreting?

  1. We have local interpreters in your area, across the UK, fluent in the languages that you need.
  2. We use DBS checked, skilled, trained professional interpreters and translators who understand medical vocabulary. Prestige has created e-learning training for our NHS interpreters which include:
    • Deprivation of Liberty Standards
    • Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults
    • Safeguarding Children (Level 2).
CCS approved supplier
  1. Prestige Network is an approved supplier under the CCS framework and we have also been accredited by the NHS London Procurement Partnership, the Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (ESPO) and Health Trust Europe.
  2. We offer Face To Face Interpreting, Telephone Interpreting, and British Sign Language (BSL) Interpreting
  3. Telephone interpreting is a good choice where a rare language or a simple consultation is required. It may even be the best solution for infectious or contagious diseases such as the Coronavirus where face-to-face interpreting could pose a hazard to health.
  4. Alternatively, we can supply some fantastic hand-held technology (LN-talk) which will interpret between 100 different languages. The size of a mobile phone, these are a cost-effective interpreting solution for GP surgeries, hospitals and clinics. Find out how LN-talk can help your NHS or private medical organisation.

More information
Get a quote or ask us about booking an interpreter or LN-talk for your medical interpreting needs. We cover ad-hoc interpreting jobs to a fully managed service, so isn’t it time you chose Prestige Network as your preferred language service provider?

Read the whole BMJ article