Tackling health inequalities
Here in the UK, people who are not proficient in English are more than twice as vulnerable to ill health than those who are (source). In an initiative which aims to mitigate this inequality, Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NUTH) commissioned us to produce a short eLearning course for their staff. Its objective is to enable staff to communicate more effectively with patients who have English as an Additional Language (EAL).
An innovative course
The course is non-mandatory training for all NUTH staff (clinical and non-clinical) and is available for other healthcare providers to purchase. It is an eLearning course which staff can access at a time convenient to them. Here we show you what this unusual course has to offer.
"Make it engaging."
When designing the course it was important to us to listen to our client. NHS staff are busy, so NUTH requested three units of less than 20 minutes duration with an engaging presenter, fun activities and content which is highly relevant to the workplace. Here are three clips so that you can judge for yourself how well we achieved this.
In this clip from unit 1 you'll be asked to listen to Spanish, a language which most Brits can't speak fluently. Examples like this are sprinkled throughout the course as a way of building understanding and empathy for patients who don't speak English well. Please note - the clips are not clickable but the course itself is.
A supplement to other language services
As we mentioned in this clip, training staff to communicate clearly can never replace the need for interpreters. This training complements the provision of interpreting services, builds staff confidence and improves the patient experience.
Staff who work for NUTH told us about the difficulties they faced when speaking to patients who have English as an Additional Language, and we listened. As you'll see from this clip, the course is full of example phrases taken from real life.
The best way to communicate with patients who have EAL is to communicate slowly and clearly, but achieving this without seeming patronising can be tricky. The course contains several pointers as can be seen in this clip from unit 3.
Request a free trial
If you represent an NHS Foundation Trust, CCG, PCT or other healthcare provider which is interested in obtaining this course for use by your staff, please get in touch. If you are enquiring just for yourself, this link to Eventbrite will show any upcoming ticketed webinars, or send us an email to request one. To read our testimonials click here, and to read which other courses we have to offer click here.