NHS: Translation Services

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 12th March 2018.

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Photo of Nicky Morgan Nicky Morgan Chair, Treasury Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his Department's policy is on the provision in the NHS of interpretation services for refugees.

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The National Health Service should provide appropriate interpreting services to all patients requiring them. Individuals who experience a communications barrier, such as people whose first language is not English and who may need to communicate in another language, may require the provision of interpreting and translation services. This complies with the Equality Act 2010, the Human Rights Act 1998 and / or other legislative present provisions. In the case of those with a sensory impairment (such as British Sign Language speakers or braille readers), there are explicit obligations to make reasonable adjustments, provided by the Equality Act 2010 and the Accessible Information Standard.

This makes it imperative for organisations to provide appropriate language and communication support to ensure that patients are able to communicate effectively and appropriately with clinicians and other health service professionals.

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