The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Patient Experience Team


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We use professional interpreters 

Any patient attending the hospital can have an interpreter. This can be requested by the doctor who referred you to the hospital, or by contacting your hospital team to make sure this has been arranged for you.  

For a number of reasons we recommend that you use our interpreters and not family members or friends to interpret for you. 

This is because: 

  • you could be embarrassed talking about your condition 
  • you may not want to provide information to the clinician if your family or friends are listening 
  • you may not have medical information correctly interpreted for you 
  • your family or friend: 
  • may not give you information if they feel it could be upsetting for you  
  • could become upset, especially if they are a child 
  • may be embarrassed to interpret some words 
  • may not be able to interpret medical words, condition or treatment     
  • you may not be able to fully consent to treatment. 

If your carer is normally your interpreter, please try to tell the hospital team before your appointment, or when you come for your appointment.   

Interpreters in an Emergency

If you attend the hospital in an emergency, for instance you need to come in to A&E (also called the Emergency Department or ED), the team will access a virtual interpreter using an iPad. They can access spoken language and BSL Interpreters. They will be able to communicate with you in this way until a face to face interpreter can attend, if appropriate. 

How we Access Interpreters 

The Trust uses two providers to support the Interpreting service.  

LanguageLine Solutions supplies face to face interpreting and video/audio interpreting through an app. Colleagues can also access this service by phone or via the internet.  

The Leeds Society for Deaf & Blind People supplies BSL Interpreters, DeafBlind Communicator Guides, Lipspeakers and other forms of communication assistance. Through the Society, Leeds Teaching Hospitals can access SignLive, a virtual remote interpreting service for BSL users.

Maintaining Staff Awareness 

We provide training to our staff to raise awareness of the challenges that patients who are deaf and hard of hearing have.