thebigword appointed to run new interpretation and translation service in Surrey Heartlands GP practices

GP practices in Surrey Heartlands will be offering a new interpretation and translation service for their patients, after Surrey Heartlands Clinical Commissioning Groups undertook a competitive procurement and appointed a single organisation to deliver a fully managed service** offering a comprehensive range of interpretation and translation services.

The service will go live from the 1st October 2019 and will be delivered and managed by thebigword, an organisation offering people support with a wide range of communication needs. thebigword aims to work closely with other organisations in the local area to deliver the service to patients.  

The new service will allow people the ability to access telephone and face to face interpretation, receive information in different formats like Easy Read or in Braille, translate documents into different languages and will also support people who cannot communicate verbally, for example deaf people. Staff across GP practices will also receive training to help them support their patients.

Dr Charlotte Canniff, a local GP and Clinical Chair of North West Surrey CCG said: “We want to make sure patients are able to communicate with their GP or health care professional and understand what they are being told about their care, which is crucial for people to live a happy and healthy life.

“We’re really pleased that thebigword will be delivering and managing this service which will make sure that people can get information in the way they need it, allowing them to make the right decision for their health.”

The new service was developed after the CCGs spoke to local community groups, patients, organisations who support people to communicate (for example those who may provide specific training like British Sign Language training or provide guidance for different communities) as well as staff within GP practices. After listening to people’s feedback the CCG’s were able to design a service to meet the needs of residents in the Surrey Heartlands area covering North West Surrey, Guildford and Waverley and Surrey Downs.