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Language services in the local NHS - interpreters, translated and alternative format information



NHS Liverpool CCG is looking at improving language services in the local NHS for those who need interpreters, translations, or information in alternative formats.

Currently, NHS Liverpool CCG commissions language services for GPs in Liverpool, Sefton CCGs commission them for Sefton GPs, and each of the local NHS Trusts commission their own services too. However this can lead to variations in the quality and consistency of these services being provided to those who depend on them.

We are now looking at introducing a more consistent approach to contracting arrangements across the whole local healthcare system - covering local NHS hospitals, GPs, out of hours GPs, community healthcare, and mental health services.



We wanted to understand what is important to people who use language services to make sure we get the arrangements right and improve standards.

We already had some feedback but wanted to build on this knowledge and check our proposals.

In order to do this, we wanted to gather a wide range of views from NHS colleagues, service users, VCSE organisations, and language interpreters/translators.

We have produced a report of all the feedback that we gathered:


Click here to download the report


The findings of the report have been used to shape the service specification for how the services will need to work in future. The specification is currently being used in a competitive tender process to seek providers of services for Liverpool and Sefton GPs, hospital, community and mental health trusts in Liverpool and Sefton, Liverpool City Council and some health partners further afield in Merseyside and Cheshire. The process is taking place over summer 2021 and will come on stream in phases from autumn 2021 to 2022 as different NHS partners bring on the new services. Other feedback gathered will also be shared with relevant health professionals.

Feedback showed there is a lack of confidence in getting support to access healthcare, that people experience delays in diagnosis and care and that the procedures for booking support arrangements are often lacking. Key issues raised which are address in the new specification for the services include:-

  • 70% of service users responding said they had not sought healthcare because they felt they wouldn’t be understood or wouldn’t understand and >97% of VCSE organisations said they had witnessed this.
  • Nearly 90% said they needed help to make health appointments

The specification includes training for NHS staff and support to simplify booking procedures and confirm bookings.

The following were identified as important to a good service and are all part of the new specification:-

  • Professional, qualified interpreters
  • Requests for male/female/named interpreters
  • Confirmation of bookings

We will be able to communicate the outcome of the process in mid July 2021 and will share the information here and through a variety of other mechanisms. If you would like further information or to request this report in other formats, please email or call (0151) 247 6409, or text: 07920 206386



Below you will find resources and alternative format materials that we used throughout this engagement. 


Other languages & formats

The survey for patients was also available in the following languages and formats:

People could have requested the survey in other languages and formats not included above by calling: (0151) 247 6409, texting: 07920 206386 or emailing:

People were also able to use these contact details to arrange for someone to go through the survey with them if needed.

Some of the languages and formats available on request include:

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При поискане можем да ви предоставим превод.



Překlad je k dispozici na požádání.

ﺗرﺟﻣﮫ اﯾن ﻣﺗن در دﺳﺗرس اﺳت.

Erre vonatkozó kérés esetén fordítást tudunk biztosítani.


Tłumaczenie dostępne na życzenie.

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Traducere disponibila la cerere.

Marka la codsado baa la heli karaa isaga oo turjuman.

درﺧواﺳت ﮐرﻧﮯ ﭘر ﺗرﺟﻣہ دﺳﺗﯾﺎب ﮨﮯ۔

Easy Read

Large Print

Audio / Braille


Promotional resources

Below are a series of digital resources we and our partners used to promote this engagement: