We met with Alison Sherry, Interpreting Services Manager at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

We spoke to her about her experiences with the InSight app. The following is taken from our interview.



A bit of background:

LanguageLine Solutions is the sole supplier to Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and has been supporting the Trust since 2017. We supply Telephone, Face to Face (including Remote Video F2F), InSight Video Interpreting, and written Translations. The Trust comprises Leeds General Infirmary, St James's Hospital, Chapel Allerton Hospital, Seacroft Hospital, Wharfedale Hospital, Leeds Dental Hospital and Leeds Children's Hospital. The following is taken from our interview.

How did your journey with LanguageLine begin?

LanguageLine approached the Trust to introduce its Interpreter on Wheels (IOW) devices as a trial, as InSight was new at the time, and LanguageLine wanted to introduce it to the UK. As we have a high demand for interpreting support, it was appropriate to trial this at Leeds Teaching Hospitals. We put a couple of these devices into areas we thought would be most beneficial, for instance, Emergency and Maternity.

We were using the app successfully when the pandemic hit. During that period, our clinical advisory group and senior management team decided we could no longer have face-to-face interpreters attending on-site due to the risk of infections. Our solution was to get more of these LanguageLine IOWs as quickly as possible and deploy them across the Trust on all sites so all services could access the service.


How did your Trust roll out the Interpreter on Wheels?

Some services and specialities have a heavier requirement for interpreting than others. So, we had to carefully balance where we put this finite number of devices according to need and usage, but also to enable access for all operational teams to the interpreting service through the COVID times. We then had the vaccine drive and offered IOWs in vaccination centres. So again, a need arose, as patients need interpreting when standing in the queue at the vaccination centre. So, LanguageLine gave us another 10 IOWs, which was incredibly handy. So overall, it's very, very popular and beneficial. And as a trust, we would not dream of not having it.

What were the immediate benefits of using the IOWs?

The potential reduction in cost is one because we have such a high demand for interpreting services. This demand has grown since the pandemic, and in contrast, the requirement would have to be fulfilled by face-to-face interpreting - which is generally more expensive. The fact that we now have the app reduces cost. It also reduces the carbon footprint because interpreters aren't physically travelling in and out of the hospitals, so that's a good thing for our particular Trust. And then there are all the benefits of the actual app itself. And the other significant point for us is the access to the services on demand.

Did you find the implementation of our services straightforward?

Thanks to Dave Panther from the LanguageLine Implementation Team, it was super easy. I don't know how his little legs keep going! We have done more than 20,000 steps around all the wards! That's been really useful because I'm able to say to our nurses, 'Oh, look, Dave will fix it for you'. And I can stand back and hope that he can fix it. Or when I say to him, 'Please can you ring nurse so and so on ward' X' - they're struggling?' He knows precisely what situation they're in. So, it's been a beneficial exercise from that point of view. 


What is the range of languages you usually deal with?

It fluctuates, and we get the odd, rare language. For example, the language we require most is Romanian. Still, we've recently had a request for a less familiar language like Mandinka. Three colleagues from the same team have approached me. So, this is obviously a person in our community attending appointments in our Trust, and she only speaks Mandinka. 

Are there other ways your Trust is looking to expand your InSight app usage?

We are looking at providing our security and late-night staff with the InSight app within our hospitals. It's one thing to give the care needed to patients during the day, but having it during the night would be helpful to patients and staff alike. That's the idea, anyway. We'll wait and see with this one. Still, having this holistic experience for patients would improve the start-to-finish care we provide.