NHS guidance recommends using a human translation service when consulting with patients who do not speak English fluently. They advise against using automated translation services such as Google Translate.
However, we know that some GP practices find it difficult to follow this guidance, particularly in online consultations.
We also know from our own research that patients will often use free online translation services themselves anyway, when submitting their requests online.
We have therefore made Patchs Translate available for GP practices that want to use it. This is to make language translation more efficient, and to provide information security, privacy, and audit trails.
How Patchs Translate improves access to healthcare
How to use Patchs Translate
If you have Patchs Translate turned on at your practice, patients can choose what language they see displayed in Patchs from a dropdown menu:
When a patient chooses a non-English language, all the text in Patchs is translated. They are advised to contact the practice by telephone and use a human translator if they have concerns about the accuracy of the translation.
You can read more about how patients use Patchs Translate in this help article.
When they come through to your practice, requests written in a non-English language are easy to identify in your inbox by the grey language icon:
When you open up the request, it is shown in the patients' chosen language with an orange warning. To translate to English, click the 'Translate to English' link:
The request is then shown in English with a further warning: 'accuracy cannot be guaranteed - if any concerns, please phone the patient and/or use a human translator.'
This is similar to what the patient sees when they select a non-English language:
What is the clinical risk of using Patchs Translate?
What languages are provided?
How are spelling mistakes handled?