Interpreting support

sign language

How we can support you with interpreting

We provide services to the multi-ethnic and diverse population of Barking, Havering and Redbridge. Therefore some of our community require additional communication support through spoken language and sign language interpretation. We're committed to ensuring that everyone whose first language is not spoken English, or who have a sensory impairment and require a sign language interpreter, receive the support they need to communicate with healthcare staff and to access health services. 

Interpreting is currently provided in various ways:

  • Telephone Interpreting: allows for immediate access to an interpreter without any prior bookings and is the default for most appointments
  • Face-to-face: where a person (interpreter) is present to interpret the patients mother-tongue to English
  • British Sign Language: where a signer is present for a deaf or hearing impaired patient
  • Deaf-blind communicators: professionals who provide communication support to people with acquired deaf-blindness, sometimes known as dual-sensory loss
  • Document translation: the provision of written or audio translation from one language to another, including Braille.

The premise of interpreting in a healthcare setting is to communicate between parties, in the patient’s mother-tongue to English during a consultation with one of our healthcare professionals and their patients. All services have telephone handsets for telephonic interpreting - these are most useful for those appointments which are expected to be short, where there may be delays, or for routine appointments. On occasions where a face-to-face interpreter is necessary, this can be arranged by the clinic/ward, or service you are being seen by.

All bookings are arranged by the requesting department, clinic or ward. If you have any queries or for more information, contact us at InterpretBookings@bhrhospitals.nhs.uk