Bolton Clarke’s National Language Line, a nationally available telephone interpreter system for consumers, has been named one of two runners up in the Excellence in Service Delivery category at the Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing Excellence Awards 2018, announced in Melbourne.
The service was developed in collaboration with consumers, employees and VITS LanguageLoop to respond to low health literacy among older people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and their families, and support them in understanding their choices and making decisions around their health and care.
Bolton Clarke consumers originate from 168 countries and speak more than 133 languages. The National Language Line is designed to cater for all languages spoken in Australia and is available to consumers 24 hours a day, every day of the year nationwide.
Dedicated lines are provided for Arabic, Cantonese, Croatian, Greek, Italian, Macedonian, Mandarin, Polish, Russian and Vietnamese speakers, with an 11th line for all other languages.
“Navigating and understanding the aged care system can be difficult and confusing at any time, let alone if you are not proficient in English,”said Bolton Clarke Diversity Manager Jaklina Michael.
“Through the National Language Line, a professional interpreter can facilitate effective communication and support access to information about health and aged care in the client’s preferred language.
“Consumers are greeted in their language and simple, pre-recorded messages support them to seamlessly connect to Bolton Clarke with the help of a professional telephone interpreter.
“We know six in ten Australians are identified as having low health literacy and this is another way we can provide practical guidance and support by improving people’s access to information in their own language.”
Data from the line continues to show a steady increase in the number of calls from around Australia.
“Many consumers call in the mornings with questions around medicines or diabetes, and some at night time for support with continence management,” Ms Michael said.
“The data also shows carers have used the line to access advice on how to manage challenging behaviours.
“The flexibility of the National Language Line means consumers can have greater choice and control over the service or information they want and access it when they need it most.”