Hospital accident and emergency staff are being issued with a translation
phrasebook to help them communicate with casualty patients who don’t speak
The Emergency Multilingual Phrasebook contains 60 of the most common medical
questions and terms, translated into 36 different languages.
The book, which is produced by the British Red Cross Society, will enable
first contact staff to communicate with patients until a suitable interpreter
can be contacted.
The phrasebook covers languages as diverse as Amharic and Vietnamese and is
being issued to more than 200 accident and emergency departments around the
It is hoped the book will bridge the communication gap in the most diverse
areas of the UK and provide more practical support for the 11 million patients
using casualty departments each year.
The scheme has been piloted at Bradford Teaching Hospital, which has one of
the most culturally diverse patient bases in the country. Matron Terry Woods
said it was proving invaluable.
"It has been especially useful at the assessment desk where patients
first arrive," he said. "The phrase book helps provide employees with
crucial information regarding a patient’s problem."