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New Polish and Urdu text messaging service is offered by Prestige Network

Prestige Network : 17 May, 2007  (New Product)
Language services provider, Prestige Network if offering UK hospitals a new text messaging service in Polish, Urdu and Bulgarian.
In April 2007, the Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust launched a new text message service in English for appointment reminders in order to cut down on the number of missed appointments.

A pilot scheme at the hospital means that patients are sent a text 72 hours before their appointment reminding them of the date and time and asking them to telephone if they wish to cancel.

Prestige Network, one of the UK's leading providers of language services to the public sector, is encouraging hospitals throughout the country to consider providing such a service in languages such as Polish, Urdu and Bulgarian for ethnic minority groups.

Prestige works with a number of primary care trusts throughout the UK to provide language based services such as Face-to-Face Interpreting, Telephone Interpreting, Translation and British Sign Language and has found that the language services have been popular.
Shawn Khorassani, Prestige Network's business development director, said: 'Some of the languages which we have been asked to provide on-site interpreting service for most frequently are Polish, Bulgarian, Urdu, French and Chinese'.

'This new service for text messages for appointment reminders could also be provided in languages such as Polish, Urdu and Bulgarian and it would be a great idea for all nationalities concerned.

'It will make appointment systems more modern and efficient for everybody, regardless of whether English is their first language or not.

'The reminder text service at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust was set up to improve the hospital's Did Not Attend (DNA) rate, which was said to be 10 percent before the service was initiated'.

Khorassani added ':We believe that a text service in key languages such as Polish, Urdu and Bulgarian would have a dramatic effect on making the whole appointment system more modern and efficient in areas throughout the country where such key languages are prevalent'.

'There are huge benefits to the service, apart from its cost effectiveness: missed appointments not only delay treatment for the individual, but increase waiting times for all patients.

'Delivering a text reminder service not only in English, but also in other key languages, would mean that hospitals are being more socially inclusive'.
'In some locations throughout the country, quite a lot of patients do not have English as their first language'.

'This service gives everyone the same opportunity'.
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