When working in the health sector, communication is key especially in a language that everyone can understand. That is professional medical interpreters come in. There is a diverse range of non-english speakers in the UK who require language assistance.

The General Medical Council guidance states “that you must make sure, wherever practical, that arrangements are made to meet patients’ language and communication needs.” This was found on the GOV UK website and explains what type of access patients can get. Here is some advice and guidance on health needs for non-English speaking patients.

Professional Medical interpretersProfessional Medical interpreters

There are other ways to communicate without needing qualified interpreters such as:
  • Using technology on devices like a mobile phone that provide access 24 hours, whether online or offline in nearly every language out there. To debate how accurate it is can be argued as it will never be as efficient as an actual person.
  • Family or friends can assist in interpreting during appointments with the permission of the patient. But there may be a lack of understanding if they are not familiar with certain terminology. Patients may prefer this as they are familiar and more feel comfortable.
  • There are many hospitals, dentists and other places which have multilingual staff members from nurses or doctors who can help. This saves on costs and is a good method but can be time-consuming. If the patient wants a bi-lingual nurse, they have to be credentialed on the policies.

 

A few facilities around the world have come forward and admitted the lack of support to patients when providing language assistance. Such as the Cal MediConnect program in California. It was reported that half of the non-English speaking patients could not access a medical interpreter when needed. They could not access doctors who spoke their languages or interpreters. This means that patients are more likely to be under-diagnosed. It is often recommended to bring family members or caregivers to verify information. However,  not everyone will have extra support . which disadvantages them. 

 

Find a Qualified Professional Medical Interpreter

This is why getting professional language help is key. At Language Direct, we have worked with the NHS, My Dentist, BMI Healthcare and many others over the 18 years we’ve been operating. Contact us today for more information!