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Kent & Medway Interpretation and Translation Services

With effect from 1st April 2022

During the spring of 2018, NHS England delegated the responsibility for Interpreting and Translation services to CCGs. Since then, the CCGs have been using the contract framework previously used by NHS England.

The CCG is seeking to harmonise all the interpreting and translation provision across Kent and Medway so all Practices have access to all the same providers. The Interpreting and Translation service provided by the CCG is for the delivery of services related solely to the GMS contract, including delivery of services provided under LES and DES arrangements.

Telephone Interpreting: No prior approval required

  • Telephone interpreting will be the method of choice where practices will have access to more language sub-dialects.
  • Interpreters can be pre-booked or accessed at very short or immediate notice.
  • Attached is a service provider contact sheet which contains details for The Big Word and Medway CIS on how to use their telephone interpreting services.
  • For The Big Word and Medway CIS, each Practice will have its’ own unique access code which covers all branch and affiliated sites unless indicated otherwise. If you do not know your codes, please contact marked Access Codes Required.

Non-verbal Interpreting (e.g. BSL): No prior approval required

  • No Change – Provision will continue to be from Royal Association for Deaf people (RAD), The Big Word or Medway CIS
  • Contact and booking details for BSL with RAD, The Big Word and Medway CIS are attached.
  • New! Video BSL is now available from both The Big Word and RAD. Please speak to the provider when booking
  • For clarity, prior booking approval is not required for any BSL appointments

Face to Face (F2F) Interpreting: Prior approval required

  • F2F interpreting will no longer be supported unless approval for each booking is sought and received from the primary care team, prior to booking.
  • Approval will only be given where it is demonstrated that telephone interpreting is not appropriate e.g. new patient appointments for migrants, or patients with learning disabilities, for example.
  • Any interpreter timesheets should be checked carefully by Practice staff to ensure that the correct times have been entered by the Interpreter and only signed off once the correct details have been agreed.
  • All F2F requests should be sent to and marked ‘F2F Interpreting Request’
  • The form for F2F requests is attached.

Translation (for written transcripts): Prior approval required

  • Any translation requests should be sent to and marked ‘Translation Request’
  • The form for Translation requests is attached
  • Patient data/information should not be included

The responsibility for booking any interpreter remains the responsibility of the Practice.

We thank you for your co-operation but if you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Kind regards
Yours sincerely

Bill Millar
Director of Primary Care
NHS Kent and Medway CCG

Updated on Monday, 28 March 2022, 3459 views

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