Northwick Park Hospital has taken a significant step in bridging the language barrier for pregnant women by introducing a round-the-clock interpreting service.
The hospital aims to use the service to provide vital support to hundreds of expectant mothers who struggle to communicate with their midwives due to language differences.
Having gained recognition for managing the largest number of non-English speaking women in the capital, the maternity team at Northwick Park is determined to offer a more inclusive service that reflects the diverse cultural makeup of the region.
Abdi Yussuf, Head of Interpreting and Translation Services at LNWH Trust, expressed the hospital’s commitment to serving a community that speaks over 100 different languages: “We want to offer a more inclusive service that reflects the reality of living in one of the most culturally diverse areas in the UK.”
Prompted by recommendations from government inspectors, Northwick Park Hospital now provides pregnant women with access to interpreters at any time, enabling them to communicate effectively with medical staff.
The innovative service incorporates the use of iPads, allowing patients to contact an interpreter at the touch of a button. In addition, physical interpreter support is also available within the hospital premises.
Matron Susan Sagramsin expressed her enthusiasm for the service, acknowledging its transformative impact on the maternity team’s operations:
“It has been a real game-changer for us and such a simple effective tool to use”, she said.
Currently serving over 4,000 deliveries annually, the maternity department at Northwick Park has become the first to implement the video interpretation service. Plans are underway to extend the service to the hospital’s emergency departments and wards in the future.
Abdi Yussuf spoke further about the importance of providing a positive birthing experience for all mothers, regardless of language barriers: “This is one of the most important times in a woman’s life, and we want to ensure all our mothers have the best possible experience regardless of their language barrier.
“We do serve a large and ethnically diverse community and want people to know we are here for everyone.”
Northwick Park Hospital’s commitment to breaking down communication barriers for pregnant women exemplifies the organisations dedication to delivering quality healthcare to its diverse community.
The introduction of video interpretation services marks a significant stride toward ensuring that language differences do not impede access to vital healthcare support during such a crucial period in women’s lives.