To mark World Delirium Awareness Day, Wednesday 15th March, and continue raising awareness about the signs of delirium, NHS Greater Manchester is signposting residents to its delirium advice leaflet which they have made accessible to even more people in the community by translating the information into a further six languages.
The system is also taking part in a project being run by iDelirium, an organisation which aims to increase understand of delirium around the world. Starting on Delirium Awareness Day, the delirium awareness flag will make its way around the world, as it is posted from one organisation to another, who will each take a picture of and sign the flag when they receive it, with the aim of spreading awareness to as many people as possible.
Delirium causes a short-term confused state and can develop over hours or days. It is a common condition, which can affect memory, concentration and personality and is a sign of an underlying illness. Delirium will usually improve, once the underlying illness is treated, but sometimes it can last for a while.
20% of adults in hospital experience delirium, although it can develop anywhere such as at home or in a care home, and certain groups are more at risk. These include:
- Those over 65-years-old
- Those with a diagnosis of dementia
- Those who have sight or hearing loss
- Those who have had delirium before
- Those with more than one long-term condition
- Those who have had recent surgery, for example, for a broken hip – 50% of people who have a hip fracture will experience delirium
In NHS GM, we produced a delirium leaflet in 2021 which contains information on how to spot delirium and how to manage it. In order to break down the language barriers which can often affect those whose first language is not English when accessing health care, we then translated the leaflet into 10 different languages (Arabic, Bangla, Farsi, Gujarati, Hindi, Kurdish, Pashto, Punjabi, Turkish and Urdu) to serve our diverse communities. We’ve now translated the leaflet into a further six languages (Bengali, Cantonese, French, Polish, Somalian and Ukrainian).
The new leaflet was translated by Lingua GM, a community interest company based in Greater Manchester, who have ensured that the language used is culturally appropriate and easy to understand.
As well as in written formats, the leaflets are also available in audio and visual format, making them even more accessible.
Warren Heppolette, chief officer for strategy and innovation, at Greater Manchester NHS, said: “Language shouldn’t be a barrier for anyone trying to access health care.
“The translation of our delirium information and advice leaflet into such a large number of languages, is an important and positive step in ensuring that this information is now more easily accessible.
“As well as translating the leaflets, we have made sure that they use easy-to-understand language and are culturally appropriate, an important element in making sure that everyone can engage with the information.
“Delirium is a common condition, so it’s important that we raise awareness about how to spot the signs so that people can seek medical advice as soon as possible and reduce the number of people needing hospitalisation. Having information in range of formats and languages helps us do this.”
Caroline Harvey, a community matron for the Trafford Local Enhanced Care Organisation, said: “The delirium leaflets have been invaluable when discussing and explaining delirium with patients and their families or carers. The translated resources are excellent; we have an extremely diverse community who benefit from them.”
Abdul Shakoor, who works for the mental health charity – Tameside, Oldham and Glossop Mind, who was involved in the translation of the leaflets and did consultation work with residents, said: “I have seen first-hand the positive benefit of having the delirium leaflet translated into different languages has had for our local Asian communities.
“Using a professional translation service has guaranteed that the information in the delirium leaflet still makes sense in another language and that is written in a clear and easy-to-read format, which is particularly important as this is a condition that predominantly affects older people.
“Feedback from the community has all been positive. Many residents shared that delirium was a condition they had not heard of previously. They also felt that the leaflets helped raise their awareness as well as giving them advice and support on how to deal with the illness and its symptoms. What we have also seen is people using the English version and the translated version together to further enhance their understanding.”
Mel Safari, Director and Psychologist at LinguaGM, who helped translate the leaflets, said: “Our aim when working with NHS GM in translating these leaflets was to equip all members of the community with information on delirium that can help them understand the condition, how to spot the signs and how to manage it.
“By making information accessible for everyone, we can enable people to take more control of their own health and have better outcomes.”