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Live NHS translation service launches in Kettering

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The new service will assist non-English speaking patients

Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has launched a live translation service within its video consultation platform to improve accessibility for non-English-speaking patients.

The trust deployed the eClinic video consultation platform from Healthcare Communications to reduce the number of patients visiting the hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The platform integrates with the trust’s patient administration system (PAS) and enables patients to attend appointments remotely — on any browser — using a smartphone, laptop or tablet.

The new service, which is available on a pay-as-you-go basis, will ensure that the trust can provide the right language translation to its patient population. Using advanced voice recognition technology, it can translate clinical appointments into more than 100 languages in real-time, via audio or text, depending on the patient’s preference.

As a result, the trust will no-longer need to rely as heavily on traditional services such as telephone and face-to-face interpreters, which cost in excess of £57,000 per year. The Healthcare Communications service provides savings of up to 90%.

Dione Rogers, chief nursing informatics officer at Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “At the start of the pandemic, we realised that we needed to procure a video consultation platform so that we could continue to see our patients and reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

“We asked for demos from several suppliers, but none of them could offer the translation functionality promised by Healthcare Communications, which was a major selling point for us because inclusivity is a fundamental part of our organisational culture.

“It is so much more empowering for a patient to be at the centre of their own appointment, in control of their own health, and to be able to speak with a clinician directly. A really big issue at the trust is being tackled and I can’t wait for staff and patients to begin realising the benefits.”

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