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Have your say on Regional Interpreting and Translation Services


Have your say on future arrangements for language interpreting and translation services for Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland

The public consultation to consider the provision of the Health and Social Care Interpreting and Translation services as a regional shared service will close

at 5pm on Friday 13 December 2013. The Health and Social Care Board is encouraging everyone with an interest to make sure they respond with their views.

Language interpreting and written translation services are required to ensure that those who do not have English as a first or competent second language are able to access health and social care services in Northern Ireland. Currently language interpreting through face to face interpreting is provided through the Belfast Trust with back up face to face interpreting and telephone interpreting contracts through the BSO Procurement and Logistics Service (PaLS). Written translation services are also provided by BSO PaLS.

In January 2012 the Health and Social Care Board initiated a review of the regional provision of interpreting and translation services to determine the most appropriate arrangements for providing the service in the future. The review concluded in June 2013 and identified a number of changes and recommendations that are required to ensure a cost effective and high quality service in the future.

The public consultation document recommends that the Regional Interpreting Service should be provided on a shared service basis by the Business Services Organisation. This would provide an opportunity for a combined regional interpreting and translation service and create a more coherent service.

The consultation also proposes that efforts should be made to reprofile the use of face to face and telephone interpreting potentially increasing telephone interpreting from its current level. This would enable a more flexible and appropriate service to both referrers and users.

The consultation documentation is available on the consultation section of the Health and Social Care Board website: www.hscboard.hscni.net/consult

Requests for documentation/response form can also be made by email: interpretingconsultation@hscni.net or by phone: 028 9055 3905 or textphone:

028 9055 3905 with prefix 18001.

Following the end of the consultation period, recommendations will be made to the HSC Board for a final decision.