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NHS Direct: Translation Services

Volume 480: debated on Monday 13 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) which non-English languages are offered to users of NHS Direct services; and what the total budgetary allocation for NHS Direct translation and language services is; (225324)

(2) what assessment he has made of the efficacy of NHS Direct translation and language services in providing equitable and accessible medical advice for non-English speakers.

NHS Direct offers interpretation and translation services for all callers to telephone services through Language Line in the following languages:

Assamese

Azeri

Afrikaans

Algerian

Ashanti

Akan

Albanian

Amharic

Armenian

Arabic

Assyrian

Azerbaijani

Badini

Bengali

Burmese

Bajuni

Belorussian

Bosnian

Berber

Basque

Bulgarian

Brava

Brazilian

Cantonese

Cebuano

Creole

Chinese

Cherokee

Columbian

Cambodian

Chaochow

Croatian

Catalan

Czech

Danish

Dari

Dutch

Egyptian

Estonian

Eritrean

Esperanto

Ethiopian

Farsi

Fijian

Flemish

Fanti

French

Finnish

Fulla

Ga

German

Gurmukhi

Gaelic

Gorani

Georgian

Greek

Gujarati

Hakka

Hebrew

Hindi

Homa

Hausa

Hungarian

Hui

Icelandic

Igbo

Ilocano

Indonesian

Iraqi

Iranian

Italian

Japanese

Kashmiri

Kreo

Kirundi

Kurmanji

Kannada

Korean

Krio

Kosovan

Kurdish

Kinyarwanda

Kinyamirenge

Kazakh

Latvian

Laotian

Lao

Lubwisi

Lebanese

Lingala

Luo

Lusoga

Lithuanian

Luganda

Mandarin

Macedonian

Moldovan

Mirpuri

Mandinka

Malay

Mongolian

Moroccan

Marathi

Maltese

Malayalam

Ndebele

Nepalese

Nigerian

Norwegian

Nyakuse

Oromo

Pahari

Persian

Portuguese

Philipino

Polish

Pothwari

Pusthu

Punjabi

Romanian

Russian

Sotho

Serbo-Croat

Swedish

Serbian

Shona

Sinhalese

Siraiki

Slovak

Samoan

Slovenian

Somali

Sorani

Spanish

Sri Lankan

Scottish Gaelic

Sudanese

Swahili

Sylheti

Tamil

Tibetan

Telegu

Elakil

Tagalog

Thai

Tigrinian

Tigre

Tajik

Taiwanese

Turkmanish

Tswana

Turkish

Twi

Ugandan

Ukranian

Urdu

Ussian

Uzbek

Vietnamese

Welsh

Wolof

Xhosa

Yugoslavian

Yiddish

Yoruba

Zulu

Content and information on NHS Direct Online and Digital TV is provided in the following languages:

Arabic

Albanian

Bengali

Cantonese

Farsi

French

Gujarati

Hindi

Italian

Korean

Polish

Portuguese

Punjabi

Russian

Somali

Spanish

Turkish

Urdu

NHS Direct also offers to provide translated versions of any Online, Digital TV and Health Information content in the languages listed above upon request.

The budgetary allocation for these services for 2008-09 is £255,000.

NHS Direct actively encourages patients and the public to provide feedback regarding the service. Since commencing the current contract with Language Line there have been no formal complaints regarding translation services.