We caught up with Hina Sheikh & Chris Kimber from NHS Lanarkshire to learn more about their experience with the InSight app. We also found out more about the local community in Lanarkshire and how inclusivity and communication go hand in hand.


How did the pandemic influence the adoption of the InSight App?


One of the things we did in NHS Lanarkshire during the first lockdown was to introduce the Interpreters on Wheels/ InSight (IOW/InSight) on all three of our hospital sites, so that we could continue to provide safe and immediate interpreting services for patients/carers and staff to support any communication needs. Initially, we introduced two machines per site, but due to their success we have increased the machines to four per site. IOW/InSight is now the primary way we currently provide interpreting on our hospital sites. We continue to provide face to face, but IOW/InSight offers a direct and efficient way to access interpreting in a range of situations and for unexpected events. Upon setting up the covid-19 vaccination centres, recognising we may have patients who will require interpreting support to fully understand and make informed choices, we organised for all on-site iPads to have access to the language line app, which allowed immediate access to interpreting services during appointments. Service user/staff feedback was very positive as patients/carers were able to ask questions and address any concerns and staff said it supported informed choice.



What was the feedback like from using our services?


Feedback from Service user/staff was very positive as patients/carers were able to ask questions and address any concerns, and staff said it supported a more informed choice and alleviated concerns. Because of the positive response and efficiency of the service, we have started to change how we provide interpreting in NHS Lanarkshire; a more blended approach with more focus on using IOW/InSight as our primary way of providing interpreting services. The IOW/InSight supports inclusive flexibility, for example, if a GP/Medic and a patient are in a consultation, and the clinician recognises that the patient is struggling with understanding what is being said, the IOW/InSight allows you to sign in and access an interpreter immediately – it only takes the pressing of a couple of buttons, which then allows the conversation to continue. It's really that simple and accessible. This time next year, we will be looking at this as being our primary way of providing our interpreting.


Are there other areas where you are using the InSight App?


We're looking to roll out the Insight app to all our clinical settings in the community. Everything from health visitors, pharmacies to dentists. But another group we're targeting is reception staff. One of the first communication points is often at the reception; that's where things can be challenging, and using the app would allow patients to make or reschedule appointments, order medication etc. When we use it currently, people (who aren't familiar with the IOW/InSight app), often say “It can't be this simple?” and my response with a smile is “Nope. It really is. There's no more to it”.


How is the InSight app used in the local community, away from direct medical use?


We have used IOW/InSight for the refugee resettlement programme in Lanarkshire. We were able to arrange for the health centre to download the LanguageLine app on their laptops. This allows them to have access to a vast range of languages reflective of their new patients. Accessing Face-to-face interpreters can sometimes be challenging, especially certain languages i.e., Vietnamese. Also, we had feedback around the COVID vaccinations for recently arrived Syrian and Arabic speaking communities. Initially, there was a certain level of hesitancy, but their experiences at the vaccination centres, aided by access to IOW/InSight interpreting, allowed staff to answer any questions or concerns.


IOW/InSight is also used by the Keep Well Team, who do community-based health checks. They regularly work with communities who may have language barriers. The IOW/InSight is also used by the Vaccination Outreach Team, engaging with housebound people who can't get to the vaccination sites/GPs. The IOW/InSight also deters a conflict of interest or misinterpreting by family members doubling as interpreters. The app ensures a non-biased interpreter can relay all the necessary information. Allowing the patient to make their own informed decision.