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Language services

Language services provider Prestige Network is urging hospitals throughout the country to launch a “gr8 nu servS” in Polish, Urdu and Bulgarian.

In April, the Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust launched a new text message service in English for appointment reminders in order to cut down on the number of missed appointments. A pilot scheme at the hospital means that patients are sent a text 72 hours before their appointment reminding them of the date and time and asking them to telephone if they wish to cancel.

Now Prestige Network, one of the UK’s leading providers of language services to the public sector, is encouraging hospitals throughout the country to consider providing such a service in languages such as Polish, Urdu and Bulgarian for ethnic minority groups.

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Prestige works with a number of PCTs throughout the country to provide language-based services such as face-to-face interpreting, telephone interpreting, translation and British sign language and has found that the language services have been extremely popular.

Shawn Khorassani, Prestige Network’s Business Development Director, said: “Some of the languages which we have been asked to provide on-site interpreting service for most frequently are Polish, Bulgarian, Urdu, French and Chinese.

“This new service for text messages for appointment reminders could also be provided in languages such as Polish, Urdu and Bulgarian and it would be a great idea for all nationalities concerned. It will make appointment systems more modern and efficient for everybody, regardless of whether English is their first language or not.”