‘It was a springboard to move into the 21st century from a health perspective’

Catalyst for Change

As with our previous blogs, we feel it's essential to display the true impact of our services in the context of the real world – in particular, how COVID has affected attitudes and approaches in terms of what we used to think was normal. For this week's blog I interviewed Joanne Pepper (Deputy Head of Patient Access, Non-clinical Staff Governor, Liverpool University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust). We hear about the changes at this Trust and the statistics around their use of InSight. The following contains excerpts from that interview.

 What were your main operational barriers, and what was the catalyst for change?

"We have been using face-to-face interpreters for a long time and had previously tried to introduce video consultations for patients, not just for interpretation and translation, but for patients more generally. That didn't go down too well with clinicians. However, COVID was a catalyst for change, and I'm sure every organisation is experiencing the same. It was a springboard to move into the 21st century from a health perspective because we had barriers before where certain approaches were consistently seen as not clinically appropriate." 

 "They're rationale seemed perfectly reasonable at the time. However, the introduction of video, has, I think, revolutionised the NHS in those areas. It's still relatively early in terms of becoming common place, but we are on the right path. We are always making sure that we are putting the patients first, maintaining their privacy (which is paramount) but ensuring that we are constantly evolving as a trust."

 What significant statistics have you seen with the InSight app?

We've broken it down into two sections; one for Liverpool University Hospital and the other for Aintree. We've collected patient feedback and usage data. Taken from 316 responses from Liverpool and 37 from Aintree. And overall, it's incredibly positive:




Average session rating out of 5



% Of sessions rated 5 out of 5



Average session connect time

49 seconds

17 seconds

Top 3 most requested languages

Arabic (13.3%), Romanian (9.52%) & Tigrigna (7.3%)

Polish (30.6%), Farsi (13.9%) & Tamil (13.9%)

What were the early benefits you noticed when using InSight?

"At the beginning of last year, we introduced the Insight system, which was kindly offered to us in the form of a trial. Initially, we did that because we were looking at our expenditure, and we wanted to review the Interpretation and Translation service. There was also a drive to reduce footfall to support social distancing and patient and staff safety, which meant that our interpreters couldn't come on-site either. This gave us the driver for change, and we introduced Insight."

 "One of the benefits was around mental health referrals, especially in a crisis. Historically, we could not communicate until we had an on-site interpreter. The telephone was available but did not fit all situations. 

 With video interpretation, we could immediately communicate with people in crisis. And, of course, more accessible communication allows us to support the patient in feeling like they're being listened to in the situation. So that was a real benefit." 

As we can see here, this is yet another example of where this innovative new service, introduced by a forward-thinking Trust, has improved accessibility and the overall patient experience - notably in moments of need.