Interpretation & Translation Service

Across the Northern Care Alliance, we recognise the importance of clear communication. Our interpretation and translation teams make that easy for patients and visitors who need their support.

The Interpretation & Translation Service provides verbal and written support for people who speak one of the nearly 100 different languages spoken within the geographical area of the Trust.

We help patients whose first language is not English who require an interpreter to communicate confidently with staff during their hospital appointments.

Deaf patients can get expert support from British Sign Language interpreters and the visually impaired can request documents in Braille or large text.

A translation service for documents is also available on request.

You can choose from several different interpretation methods according to the service requirement and appropriateness. All the interpretations are carried out mostly by our Trust permanent Interpreters or Trust bank Interpreters. If the language is not available then we use agency interpreters.

If you are a patient and would like to request a

  • Language Interpreter - then please call NCA Central Interpretation Booking office on 0161 627 8770 or email your request to Please make sure you have all the appointment information to hand as you will be asked for it by the staff member.
  • BSL Interpreter -  then please follow the details given in the drop down below labelled British Sign Language.

If you are member of NCA staff then please follow the instructions given below according to the method of interpretation you require. If you are part of Salford Care Organisation and this is the first time you are booking an interpreter using this method, please also provide your cost code so your department can't be set up on the system.

To request a language interpreter simply click on the weblink below:

Zipporah – Interpreter Booking Request Form 
(Form will not load in Internet Explorer or Edge, please use Chrome or Safari)

An email confirmation will be sent when the interpreter has been allocated with all the necessary details you require.

The different methods we provide are:

This is currently the main method of language communication and there are two types of telephone interpretation:

  • 2 Way             -           when the patient is with you in the clinic
  • 3 Way             -           When the patient is at home

With the 2 way you are provided with the interpreter details so you can contact them directly or if you ring the office we can connect you.

With the 3 way you are required to ring the office at the time of the appointment and staff will put you through to an interpreter so all 3 of you will be on the call at the same time ie Clinical staff, patient and interpreter.

How to access telephone interpretation:

  • Click on the Interpreter Booking System-Zipporah weblink and fill out the short form.
  • A confirmation will be sent of the booking request (Please note it is advisable to use a generic email address so all staff within your department can access the confirmation details at the time of the appointment).
  • Once it has been allocated to an interpreter you will be sent a confirmation of booking. Please note you will need to specify if it is a 2 way or 3 way interpretation as stated above.

If you require a telephone interpreter urgently then please ring 0161 627 8770 option 1 and you will be put straight through to an interpreter and the staff member will fill out the short booking form over the phone with you.

Departments can book a video or face to face interpreter or request a translation directly with the NCA Central Interpretation Service on our weblink here Interpreter Booking system - Zipporah

For queries please contact the NCA Interpretation Team on:

0161 627 8770 or email

To book a BSL interpreter click on this link and fill out the details booking form 

Or email:

Mobile Text: 07966 003540 

Direct BSL Line: 0161 656 1917 or 0161 627 8770

When booking an interpreter by email or text please provide the following details:

  • language with dialect
  • patient name
  • hospital/NHS number
  • appointment date, time and venue, and possible duration (if known)
  • whether a male or female interpreter is required (subject to availability)
  • name, telephone and email address of requester

An email confirmation will be sent to the staff/requester’s email (NCA email only) with details of the booking.

Please note that patients/relatives/friends requesting an interpreter will not be sent interpreter details for confidentiality. However BSL patients can request the name of the interpreter by emailing the department with the booking details.

The NCA Interpretation & Translation Service office hours are 8am to 8pm 7 days a week including bank holidays. Outside these hours you will be connected to the hospital switchboard who will continue to provide the interpretation services in the same way.

At a face to face interpretation appointment Patients are likely to meet either a language Interpreter or British Sign Language Interpreter at their appointment or consultation.

If you are using the telephone interpreting method then you will only hear the interpreters voice to ease communication.

If you are using the video interpreting method then you will see the interpreter on the iPad or electronic equipment used by the clinician.

The following handbook was produced before web accessibility guidelines, so may not be fully accessible to all users. It is available here for deaf service users to download a print.

Accessibility tools

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