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Translation project aims to improve patient experience

Example of medicines label translated into Bengali

From today (21 February), outpatients at Newham Hospital who are given a prescription can choose to have the label on their medicine translated into one of 11 languages: Arabic, Bengali, French Gujarati, Hindi, Polish, Punjabi (Gurmukhi), Romanian, Somali, Tamil or Urdu.

Newham is the only hospital in Barts Health to offer this service, making the trust is one of only four in London to provide it. 

The quality improvement project aims to make it easier for patients to understand how to take their medicines and in turn, reduce things like:

  • risk of harm from incorrect medicine administration
  • risk of re-admission because of incorrect medicine administration
  • medication wastage

“We’re really excited about it,” explains Abe Addo-Atuah, associate director of pharmacy at Newham Hospital. “We serve an incredibly diverse population –  36% are Asian, 30% are Black and nearly 60% don’t speak English as their first language.

“By offering this service – where the dispensing label on patients’ medicines can be translated into their preferred language – we hope to give our patients a better experience at our hospital, help them better understand the medicines they’re taking and ultimately help them get better, faster.”

Example of medicines label translated into Romanian

Example of a medicines label translated into Romanian. From next week, patients can ask to have their medicines label translated into one of 11 languages.

The pilot project, which is funded by the Well Newham Challenge initiative and run in partnership with Newham Council, will run for three months. During this time the team will collect information including how many people take up the offer of having their medicine label translated and how much it helped them. 

If you work in our outpatients’ department, please do encourage patients who are given a prescription to ask for this service when they’re collecting their medicine. If you’d like to know more about the service,  you can email Abe .

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Add a response »
  1. M Thursday, 22 February 2024 at 02:13 PM

    Amazing initiative! Why only 1 hospital, though?

  2. Carol Munt Friday, 23 February 2024 at 10:52 AM

    A really valuable scheme, well done.
    Now it needs to be spread across the country.

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