The London Procurement Programme (LPP) has announced that it has appointed thebigword as the preferred supplier for the provision of Face to Face interpreters to 12 London NHS Trusts and purchasing consortia. The announcement of the Interpreter Framework is in addition to the Telephone Interpreting Agreement awarded by Buying Solutions to thebigword in July 2011.

The decision was made based on thebigword’s ability to deliver 22 per cent cost savings compared with previous suppliers, provide interpreters for 256 different languages and dialects, and fulfil interpreter booking with less than two hours’ notice. thebigword also demonstrated that it has more than 4,000 Face to Face interpreters available to service the contract, all of them with enhanced CRB vetting.

Although Telephone Interpreting – where two people who speak different languages converse over a telephone via an interpreter – is highly cost-effective, there are a number of NHS situations where a Face to Face interpreter is more appropriate. These include: obtaining patients’ consent, dealing with patients who have mental health issues, working with children, and in situations where child protection is a factor.

Matthew Lowe, Senior Business Development Manager at thebigword, says: “There are clear economies of scale in using one provider for all the NHS Trusts’ interpreting needs – Telephone and Face to Face. We have been able to demonstrate robust systems, very competitive pricing and a high level of experience in meeting the health sector’s interpreting needs.”

The 12 NHS Trusts and purchasing consortia that will benefit from the Framework Agreement are:

* West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust
* Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust
* NHS Outer North East London
* Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
* Procurement Shared Service – King’s Health Partners
* Ealing Hospital NHS Trust
* Barnet Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust
* Barnet and Chase Farm Hospital NHS Trust
* NHS East London & the City
* Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust
* West London Mental Health Trust
* NHS Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust