Flexible language service helps keep Ergocom’s bespoke programme on track

Jan 17, 2022

THE CLIENT

Ergocom are independent vocational rehabilitation specialists. They provide tailored and successful return to work programmes for insurers, employers, and case managers.

Each client is provided with a bespoke service including all the assessment, intervention and treatment services needed to support and enable sustainable work outcomes. Individual case handlers work closely with an employee on a one-to-one basis assessing individual needs and building a tailored package of support unique to each case.

THE REQUIREMENTS

The assignment is for a Polish <> English interpreter to support an initial assessment between a female client and her case handler in the Northwest of England. On the face of it a very straightforward, every-day request from our perspective!

To mirror Ergocom’s commitment to individualised care, we provide a quotation for both a face-to-face and a virtual appointment so the client can decide which fits their requirements best. An introductory chat over the phone between the interpreter and the client is also included in our service.

OUR BESPOKE INTERPRETING SOLUTION

InterpretersPortal and Ergocom share a very similar philosophy in how we believe services should be delivered – making this an ideal partnership. We both develop strong relationships with our clients to ensure we understand their needs and can provide bespoke services rather than a “one size fits all” approach.

The client chooses face-to-face interpreting for support. So we match the client with a local, female interpreter based within a 30 minute distance.

To help ease communication, in what could be an emotionally sensitive situation, the interpreter will liaise with the client to introduce themselves prior to the assessment.

We find this particularly helpful in situations where the client is nervous, or hasn’t worked with an interpreter before. An interpreter should always be a seamless extension of the conversation, almost invisible to all parties, rather than a barrier to communication. So it is preferable to get the early introductions and rapport building started ahead of a more formal interpreting session.

THE CHALLENGES

Initially it appears to be what is a very standard assignment for us. The only challenge seems to be a language barrier and locating an interpreter to fit the requirements.

In this case our interpreter chats with the client on the phone and they collectively arrange a convenient date and time for the assessment. All is going well, or so it seems…

Unfortunately just a matter of days before the booked meeting the case handler slipped down a step and broke her ankle!

At short notice the interpreter was requested to be on hand to help all parties renegotiate a solution on where, when, and how the vital assessment could go ahead. Some of the testing is quite physical so the claim handler would struggle alone with her injury.

Was there space at home for the physical assessment to take place now that an additional support person would be needed to complete it?

Would the case handler have to navigate any steps at the property?

When could the assessment take place taking into consideration the availability of another staff member and childcare requirements?

Having an interpreter involved is crucial to the many conversations it takes reorganising the assessment and keeping the programme on track. InterpretersPortal always endeavors to use the same interpreter for subsequent appointments or cases to build on the relationship and knowledge already gained. In circumstances such as this with multiple on-going short conversations it is exceptionally useful to have the same interpreter available to help.

With assistance from the interpreter the meeting is rearranged to a clinic nearby, as the client’s apartment is deemed too small to accommodate the physical assessment and additional staff members. The initial assessment is finally conducted successfully and easily with smooth flowing conversation.

InterpretersPortal are friendly, supportive and professional.

They ensure everything has been considered and communicated to all parties, to ensure the best support for the client and for our team. They are also flexible and able to adapt easily to changing needs of a client, which is essential for the work we do.

We really enjoy working with them.

Helen Valls-Russell

Director, Ergocom

INVALUABLE SUPPORT FROM INTERPRETERS

We are always so proud of the commitment our professional and caring interpreters give our clients. Quite often they go way above and beyond expectations!

The presence of an interpreter in sensitive environments, such as health assessments or workplace investigations, can also be a significant emotional support. In this instance, as the assessment was rearranged, the interpreter even offered to pick up the client and take her along to the appointment.

Every interpreting solution we deliver is bespoke to the client no matter how big or small. However, one thing remains constant and that is our commitment to use the same interpreter throughout subsequent appointments or programme meetings. We work closely with a small group of interpreters, selected from our database of thousands of freelancers, which allows us to personally vouch for each one and get to know them. We never just assign work on availability, it is a conscious matching exercise for every service and client.

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