This year the UK celebrates a milestone of 70 years of the UK National Health Service (NHS). Providing reassurance, guidance and hope, the NHS has been at the forefront of medical advances and ensuring the nations wellbeing since it came into operation on 5th July 1948.

The residing message from the initial launch campaign was simple but impactful: “It will relieve your money worries in time of illness”. This institution created by then Minister of Health and Housing, Aneurin Bevan, has proved instrumental and significant in countless people’s lives since, not only relieving the stress of affordability, but providing life-changing treatment and support.

As technology has advanced, so has the medical capability of the service provision available. However, societal developments have created new demands and challenges over the years. At thebigword we are proud to be supporting the NHS to navigate one of the rising challenges in providing vital healthcare and guidance. The challenge of a language barrier.

At thebigword our work spans across a variety of NHS services, from urgent interpretation in accident and emergency, to pre and post operation planned support. We take over 11,000 calls per month, which equates to over 19,000 interpretation projects per month. Without this communication either via telephone or face-to-face interpretation, these important services cannot go ahead. Without language, be it Arabic, Italian or British Sign Language (BSL), life changing messages are challenging to share and in the medical sector the nuance of message meaning can have an major impact.

At thebigword we are keen for our team to understand the wider picture of the impact our service provides. We are not just sourcing linguists, we are helping to deliver babies or providing someone with understanding and reassuring words surrounding a diagnosis. It is a huge responsibility and a service which we take great care in delivering as a team.

70 years of the NHS is an incredible legacy. Much like the NHS pride themselves on providing high-quality healthcare for those in need, we endeavour to continue providing high-quality linguists to support our UK healthcare service and ensure those in need receive communication support in times of illness to reassure, guide and provide hope.

Neil Simpson

Senior Project Director