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Interpreting in the NHS
Thread poster: Claudia Vale

Claudia Vale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
Feb 21, 2006

Hi. Could anyone please offer me an insight into what it's like to be an interpreter for the NHS? In practical terms, do you have to wait around a lot? Do you need to be a driver? What kind of scenarios are likely to occur with your clients? What exactly is involved? I'd really appreciate as much information as you can ASAP.

Thank you.


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Debora Villa
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:17
English to Italian
+ ...
Hi there Feb 22, 2006

Hi Claudia,

I have done several interpreting sessions for the NHS and I find it very interesting although, yes, you have to wait around quite a lot!
The work is varied, from GP/hospital appt. to dentist appt., to births!! Although I attend sessions by car, I do not think you do have to be a driver providing you can go from A to B by public transport.

Hope this helps!!


Debora


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Claudia Vale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Debora Feb 22, 2006

Thanks very much for your reply, Debora. Any info I get will help me prepare for my first interpreting assignment next week. I hope I have as 'interesting' a time as you have had - in a GOOD way! Wish me luck. ;o)

If anyone can warn me of any common mistakes to avoid I'd be very grateful.

Thanks.


DV1 wrote:

Hi Claudia,

I have done several interpreting sessions for the NHS and I find it very interesting although, yes, you have to wait around quite a lot!
The work is varied, from GP/hospital appt. to dentist appt., to births!! Although I attend sessions by car, I do not think you do have to be a driver providing you can go from A to B by public transport.

Hope this helps!!


Debora


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Imad Almaghary
Local time: 21:17
English to Arabic
+ ...
be prepared Mar 4, 2006

Good morning

Remember before the start of the interpretation cession to set up dialogue with both parties in order to learn the common words to be used. Ask them for some nam3es likely to be used and for certain abbreviations and so on. talk to them before you begin so as to learn about the work itself and therefore you feel that you are familiar with the topic.

Yours
Mr. Imad


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Bibiana Jordan-Horvathova, MCIL
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:17
English to Slovak
+ ...
NHS jobs. May 29, 2006

Hi Claudia and all,
How are you finding your experiences so far?
Where do you actually undertake these jobs?
There is a difference in working through the agency for NHS and working for them directly. Majority of interpreters are working through agencies and pay is very low in comparison for other types of jobs. Travel is usually not paid so one must calculate and organise time so it is possible to fit more jobs in. Of course they do not come in any order so planning more jobs in one area is not easy. Especially if you are covering GP's dotted all over places.
Also check what is the cut off time in such instances as you might find you were booked by the agency for one patient's new check up and there is a family waiting at the GP's and of course you have to be somewhere else soon...It's hard to keep an eye on time sometimes and you have to be really thinking ahead. And if using public transport you will always need more time than you think for travel.
I hope you are managing ok.


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Claudia Vale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Time and Money May 30, 2006

Hi,

Thanks for your message. I'm still doing interpreting on a part-time basis for an agency in South London. The one frustrating thing - and I've pointed this out to the agency - is that there are a huge number of no-shows. It takes some preparation to find your way to each appointment and to make it on time so it's quite annoying when the patient does not arrive. Over the course of 2 days and 6 appointments recently, only 2 out of 6 patients turned up. While I am still paid for turning up and for travel expenses, it seems like a real waste of time and energy. It's a shame because the work itself can be very interesting and you meet all kinds of people.

I didn't know it was possible to work for the NHS directly. Does this pay much better? I think agencies take a pretty large cut. What's the going rate?

Look forward to hearing from you.)


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agamalaika
Local time: 19:17
English to Polish
nhs job May 13, 2007

hey people
I have traced the whole discussion, and found all the tips quite eye-opening.
I am actually interested in doing it myself but....I have no idea how to actually find a job as an NHS interpreter.
Which door to knock on?

Could you please advice me as to whom I should contact in the matter?

Many thanks in advance

Aga


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sonija
Local time: 20:17
Slovak to English
nhs Apr 10, 2008

hi, i am sonia and i work as an over the phone interpreter. i would like to start working for nhs directly. can anyone help me to find out how to get the job, where to apply and what qualifications i need?
thanx a lot


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Luke Mersh  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:17
Spanish to English
Interpreting in the NHS Jul 27, 2011

Hi there i went to my nearest hospital the other day and they told me that they go through a company called 'prestige network'

maybe worth registering with.


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polskiexpert
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:17
Member (2010)
Polish to English
+ ...
NHS Aug 1, 2011

Hello

I used to interpret for Prestige Network whilst I was living in London. A very friendly agency, Susie, Meryem, Peter, pay is acceptable, timesheets clear. Now I am about to interpret for NHS Scotland and cannot wait:)
I do recommend having a car in more remote areas... Travelling to Hammersmith Hospital by tube can be fairly easy, but what about getting to Ealing Hospital and taking 3 buses??? (This was my case.)
It's also worth remembering to check exactly which ward you are assigned to, as finding the right unit can take a long time (even longer than finding a free/paid parking space)
Ealing Hospital charges flat fee of £3-4!, no matter how long you stay! So it is always best to check with the agency/client whether they are happy to reimburse for that.
However, I absolutely hated London's traffic which often made me nervous whether I would be on time or not (even if I left early), so I moved up north:) and car journeys are far better.
good luck
M.


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DCM Linguistics  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:17
Portuguese to English
+ ...
So can we Apr 15, 2012

contact GP offices and hospitals directly? Or is registration with various agencies the only solution?

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Ania Heasley  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:17
English to Polish
+ ...
Agencies and NHS Apr 16, 2012

In my experience, there are a couple of agencies who seem to share the NHS interpreting market more or less equally between them.

I am not going to name them, as this is apparently against the forum rules, but these are the two most ubiquitous agencies in the UK.

Call your local surgery or hospital and ask them who their interpreting provider is.

And no, they are not involved in the current legal interpreting row. So not THAT agency


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sunnysky
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:17
NHS Interpreting or Translating Course- any information Jul 22, 2013

Hi.

Could you please let me know if there is any NHS Interpreting or Translating Course designed specifically for skilled candidates? I am thinking to start a career working for NHS in this field however I would like to go for a NHS course first. Would you please recommend me any existing on the market in London? Your help will be appreciated a lot. Thank you.


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dan1la
United Kingdom
Hi Debora NHS interpreter Oct 5, 2015

Debora Villa wrote:

Hi Claudia,

I have done several interpreting sessions for the NHS and I find it very interesting although, yes, you have to wait around quite a lot!
The work is varied, from GP/hospital appt. to dentist appt., to births!! Although I attend sessions by car, I do not think you do have to be a driver providing you can go from A to B by public transport.

Hope this helps!!


Debora



Hi Debora,

I am an Italian, and I live in England for more than three years.
I studied languages in Napoli, where I am from, and I have always dreamt to be interpreter.
I'd like to work as interpreter Italian-English for the NHS, but I am wondering whether my pairs (Italian-English) are required or not. I would really like to have your opinion or advice.

Many thanks in advance

Dan1la


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Amal9
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:17
Arabic to English
Agency and NHS Jan 18, 2016

I have been working with one of the agency in NHS for the last 4 months, but it turns out that this agency is not paying their freelancer or delay payment. NHS as a third party do not care if the interpreter get paid or not as long they receive timely service. I think this is unfair for people working hard like us. Just to warn everyone. Check the agency review before start working with any agency. The poor review are the most truthful. No one will right bad review, unless they feel really bad from the way they have been treated.

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