Enabling Communication without Languageline logo Language barriers

The Challenge

Providing healthcare treatment in today’s multi-cultural society means that interpretation services in hospitals and clinics are an increasing necessity.

Whilst face-to-face interpreting has often been the default method of providing language support in the health arena, organisations are increasingly utilizing telephone interpreting where appropriate and feasible. This brings significant cost efficiencies, alongside opportunities to enhance access to services for limited English speakers.

The Solution

We partner with LanguageLine Solutions, the world’s leading supplier of telephone interpreting services, supporting the organisation in its provision of services to hospitals, clinics and across the broader health arena. Through this partnership, we provide wireless headsets to doctors and patients so that their conversation can be conducted via a remote telephone interpreter. This gives doctors the freedom to conduct examinations or procedures fully hands-free, unhampered by having to hold a telephone handset.

The Benefits

In appropriate circumstances, telephone interpreting represents the most efficient and cost-effective method of providing language support in the health environment.

As an on-demand, instant-access facility, users engage the service precisely as and when required.

The service is not impacted by patient Do Not Attends (DNAs) or late running clinics – situations which would incur a charge when using a face-to-face interpreter. Unplanned requirements and unforeseen circumstances can be addressed and supported.

There are no minimum duration charges and no cancellation fees to consider, whilst travel time and expense are eradicated.

Users pay only for the actual minutes of interpreting used – a factor especially relevant in the health arena, where the actual time engaged with an interpreter can be 15 minutes or less.

Privacy and confidentiality is assured, whilst the patient-clinician dynamic is unaffected by a further presence in the room.

These services are widely used in physio and gynaecology departments, sexual health clinics and increasingly in Accident and Emergency departments.


“Working with such a diverse range of patients, our busy staff need access to easy-to-use communication tools.   We have used speaker phones to aid interpretation very effectively for many years.  Since early 2016, our clinic has also been using wireless headsets to improve communication with patients who require interpretation.  This has proved to be a highly effective communication aid, particularly in situations where we need to move away from the desk for procedures or examinations.  It enables us to provide an immediate service instead of sending patients away to wait for an on-site interpreter and also ensures anonymity for the patient.”  

Doctor at Abacus Sexual Health Clinic, Liverpool