RedArc, the third-party nurse service often included as an added-value benefit within employee benefits and insurance policies, has announced a partnership with LanguageLine Solutions (LLS), allowing it to better serve people for whom English is not easily understood. Users of their service will now have instant access to on-demand interpreters in over 200 languages, to assist with calls to RedArc.
Combined UK census data shows that nearly a million people can’t speak English ‘well’ or ‘at all’.
Furthermore, Office of National Statistics data for England and Wales showed that a third (35%) of people who were non-proficient English speakers were not in good health, compared to just 1 in 10 who could speak English well, with the ONS suggesting that people with a lower proficiently in English may find it more difficult to access suitable healthcare.*
Christine Husbands, managing director, RedArc Nurses said: “Serious illnesses, trauma and bereavement are a difficult time for anyone and misunderstandings frequently occur, when English is not the first language, these misunderstandings are amplified. Also some ethical minorities or marginalised groups suffer disproportionally with issues such as mental health, so it is vital that we make our services as accessible as possible to support everyone that needs our help.”
LanguageLine Solutions (LLS) was selected because their technology dovetailed well with the RedArc’s existing telephone support and also because they have a specialism in healthcare. In fact, LLS was initially formed as a charity to support patient and staff communication at an east London hospital.
Christine Husbands continued: “It was important for us to work with an organisation that could understand the extremely sensitive nature of the conversations we have with people and also to find an interpreter for whom medical terminology was second nature. This move helps us to be more inclusive so that everyone has an equal opportunity to benefit from our services, no matter what their preferred language.”
Everyone is given a unique ID code which allows them to dial in to LLS and RedArc, facilitating a three-way call where the patient’s communication is interpreted to RedArc and the nurse’s dialogue is interpreted back to the patient. All interpreters are tested and security-cleared and no calls are recorded.
Actual total: 952,009
*England & Wales: English spoken ‘not well’ 726,000; ‘at all’ 138,000
Scotland: English spoken ‘not well’ 62,128; ‘at all’ 11,412
Northern Ireland: English spoken ‘not well’ 11,802; ‘at all’ 2,667