Results and Evaluation of Maternity and Health Visitors Survey 2017

Positive Feedback

My interpreter has been very professional and sensitive to my clients’ needs.


SIS very good at providing interpreters even at short notice. I have always found the interpreter’s I have been in contact with to be very professional.


29 responses from 337 emails sent (8.6%) response.

Which Trust do you work for?

  • Brighton and Sussex University Hospital Trust
  • Sussex Community Foundation Trust

Which team or children’s centre do you work in?

Indicates a varied sample of SIS customers.

Experience of working with SIS

How long have you been using SIS?

  • Less than 3 months
  • 3-12 months
  • 1-2 years
  • 5-10 years
  • More than 10 years

Indicates a lot of experience in working with SIS.

How did you find out about SIS?

  • From a SIS service user
  • From SCFT/BSUH publicity
  • It was the service offered to me by SCFT/BSUH
  • From a colleague

In previous surveys many practitioners have found out about SIS from our publicity. In this survey it was primarily colleagues and NHS trusts who were promoting the use of Community Interpreting.

It is also reassuring to see that Service Users are empowered to request Community Interpreting themselves and advocate for their needs.


How likely are you to recommend SIS to your colleagues?

  • Extremely likely
  • Very likely
  • Moderately likely
  • Slightly likely
  • Not at all

96.2% of respondents would recommend SIS to colleagues.

1 respondent replied “not at all” when asked if they would recommend SIS to colleagues, but did not give any further comment and did not want to be contacted further. That respondent booked Community Interpreters but had not worked directly with SIS CIs. The only indication of the respondents areas of dis-satisfaction was 3x “neither agree or disagree” with the satisfaction statements measuring Quality, Access and Information

Satisfaction Levels

For Quality, Timeliness and Access only one individual was less than 100% satisfied but no further comments were made.

4 respondents neither agreed or disagreed to the satisfaction statement about Information. This is similar to previous surveys and SIS has implement various improvement strategies over the past 10 years including emergency phone access, improved booking procedures, additional office staff, comprehensive website, and customer care training.

The results compare favourably to previous years.

Comparative Satisfaction Levels

  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2006

Do you feel confident that a booked interpreter will attend or SIS will inform you of any problems?

  • Yes
  • No




I have always been contacted well in advance if any issues.


I have always had a reply from SIS prior to the arranged visit with an interpreter and the interpreter has always been punctual to the visit.


I have always had good experience.


Once a booked interpreter turned up at wrong location.


Although the last interpreter I booked did not arrive. SIS did say they would look into it and let me know but they haven’t yet .


I have had a couple of experiences when interpreters haven’t turned up but generally reliable.

Customers who reported a negative experience of Community Interpreters not attending have been contacted. SIS has recently implemented a more robust monitoring and disciplinary process with regards to Community Interpreters not attending sessions they had previously committed to.


Which booking method/s have you used?

  • %

It is very encouraging for SIS that many customers are now using the on-line booking portal (e-Langserv) which allows them to track their booking, audit their use and look up booking history. Many customers used more than one method depending on their need.

There were plenty of complimentary comments about the booking system e.g.

The online system is really easy to use

I use this method for speed and convenience

For ease, it is also dependent upon needs.

There were some concerns raised and/or incorrect information

SIS refuse to take telephone booking

We have written to clarify when it is appropriate to make a booking by phone e.g. in case of urgent or emergency need

Would be quicker if there was an option to save fields that don’t change such as name, work place etc. as it’s quite time consuming having to re-enter the information every time I refer

There is a tick box ‘Remember details’ which I always tick and the next booking it has not retained the information and so I have to start all over again

I have to repeatedly put in my details although I try and save them each time

The issue with “remember my details” has been forwarded to our technical support and each customer contacted.

Would you be interested in registering to use the SIS booking portal?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe

All customers who expressed an interest (or a maybe) in registering for the booking portal have been contacted by SIS and offered information and support for the process.


14 practitioners completed the priorities ranking. The results are similar to previous survey results.

The most important aspect is:
The Community Interpreter is trained to an accredited level

Of medium importance were:
The Community Interpreter can be booked within a short period of time
The Community Interpreter can provide appropriate cultural information
I have the continuity of the same Community Interpreter for the same patient
Short notice booking was considered slightly more important than the other two which were equal

Of equally low importance were:
I can have a pre-session with the Community Interpreter to plan the appointment
SIS operates a 24-hour emergency service

Explanatory comments offered:

Same interpreter has been essential

Professional interpretation service helps me feel confident that the translation is a good standard

I had same interpreter for 3 visits to one family across several months – relationship forming for client confidence; female interpreter

It is vital that interpreters are trained to ensure confidentiality and professionalism

When visiting some families, it is very important to have the continuity of the same interpreter. This doesn’t always happen even when I have arranged the visit with the interpreter i.e. they have agreed they would be available for the date arranged and then another interpreter turns up.

SIS will write to this customer to ensure that they make the specific interpreter request on the booking form so that SIS staff are able to meet this need. Community Interpreters should not agree to attend follow up appointments and should inform practitioners of SIS booking practice.

Additional priority suggested

  • Female interpreter when requested

SIS will confirm with this customer that we have a policy of gender matching whenever possible and calling the Service Provider for further instruction if this isn’t possible.

SIS Guidelines

66% of respondents reported having used the SIS Guidelines for working with Community Interpreters. Three quarters of these had found them useful or very useful with a quarter stating they were a little useful. SIS will endeavour to get further information about what changes could be made.

SIS has sent e mail copies of the guidelines to those customers who hadn’t seen or used them.

2 people expressed an interest in receiving training from SIS about “Working with Community Interpreters.”

Telephone Interpreting

Respondents thought telephone interpreting could be useful used for:

  • Making appointments
  • Introducing their role and making an initial appointment
  • Last minute appointments or when the need for an interpreter isn’t known

There were two contrasting opinions about use of telephone interpreting.

It can be used for most appointments, I think it should be used more often as we get a lot of people who don’t turn up for their appointment

This appears to be more about potential cost savings than for any clinical benefit. Cost savings would apply only on the occasions when the service user doesn’t attend.

I would struggle with this as it will require effective /efficient communication and technology

GPs have raised similar issues about needing specialist resources and hardware for telephone interpreting to be effective.

Impact of SIS

% agree / strongly agree that working with SIS CIs helps with

  • %

The results of this final question indicates the high value of SIS Community Interpreters in facilitating quality interactions between service users and service providers and the essential nature of their intervention.

Additional Queries

I would be interested to know whether there is any peer supervision for the interpreters to maintain a high standard of translation.

Community Interpreting quality standards are monitored via feedback from Service Users and Service Providers. Many Community Interpreters are provided with bespoke support to improve on their practice, in 2016.

  • 20 CIs had telephone support
  • 18 CIs were written to with reminders and recommendations for development
  • 2 CIs met with the Quality Assurance Manager and/or Service Manager to consolidate verbal and written support

In addition, SIS Community Interpreters are invited to regular meetings and briefings to ensure that they have the opportunity to review their work, keep up with latest developments in the field and benefit from up to date information.

It would be helpful if the interpreter could ring the client and let them know we are coming.

SIS is unable to offer this kind of service because of the high volume of Community Interpreting sessions that SIS coordinates (15625 in 2016) and also to protect the workers professional boundaries. However, SIS has produced Bilingual Appointment letter in 19 languages which service provider can download from our website and send to clients.