Interpreting and Translating

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1 This document is uncontrolled once printed. Please refer to the Trusts Intranet site for the most up to date version Interpreting and Translating NGH-GU-290 Ratified By: Procedural Document Group Date Ratified: 14/9/2010 & Final approval Version No: 2.5 Previous versions ratified by (group & date) HMG January 2009 Date(s) Reviewed: July 2010 Next Review Date: July 2012 Responsibility for Review: Equality Lead Contributors: Head of PALs and Bereavement Services NGH-GU-290 Page 1 of 11

2 CONTENTS SUMMARY INTRODUCTION PURPOSE SCOPE COMPLIANCE STATEMENTS DEFINITIONS ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES SUBSTANTIVE CONTENT Language Support Identifying the language Access to Language Support IMPLEMENTATION & TRAINING MONITORING & REVIEW REFERENCES & ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTATION APPENDICES Appendix 1 Translation of written documents Appendix 2 Request for Translation Services Booking Form Appendix 3 Providing Information in Alternative Formats Appendix 4 Language Identifier Appendix 5 Telephone Interpreting Appendix 6 Language Code Appendix 7 Face to Face Interpreting Appendix 8 Face to Face Interpreting Booking Form Appendix 9 British Sign Language Appendix 10 Communicator Support Guide for Deaf/Blind Patients NGH-GU-290 Page 2 of 11

3 SUMMARY The Trust recognises that patients with a first language that is not spoken English, have the right to professional language support. The legal right stems from the Equality Act 2010 and the Human Rights Act 1988 and it is supported by the Care Quality Commission. This guidance is to inform staff of the process of accessing the interpreting and translating services for patients and staff within Northampton General Hospital. NGH-GU-290 Page 3 of 11

4 1. INTRODUCTION Northampton General Hospital (NGH) strives to ensure that patients can communicate effectively with NGH staff, thus improving the quality and equity of the service they receive. 2. PURPOSE The purpose of these guidelines is to inform staff of the process to access interpreting and translating services and to make staff aware of how to access information in alternative formats to assist patients who have sensory or learning disabilities to enable them to communicate effectively whilst accessing NGH services. This will ensure that language is not a barrier to patients access to health services within the Trust. Barriers to communication may be caused by one of a number of reasons, e.g. the patient s first language is not English and he / she may have difficulty understanding terms and jargon. He / she may have a hearing or visual impairment or have difficulty in reading. There may also be barriers to communication associated with the person s mental capacity. 3. SCOPE These guidelines detail the different language support services which are available to staff within NGH. It applies to all NGH staff involved in communicating with patients. It gives guidance on accessing language support services, i.e. Telephone and Face to Face Interpreting, British Sign Language, Braille, audio, translation, large print, easy read and access to a Deaf/blind support Guide. 4. COMPLIANCE STATEMENTS The Trust aims to design and implement services, policies and measures that meet the diverse needs both of the population it serves and its workforce, ensuring that none are placed at a disadvantage over others. These guidelines have been assessed against the Trust s Equality Impact assessment tool as required by the Trust Single Equality and Human Rights Scheme These guidelines will be reviewed no more than two years after issue. NGH-GU-290 Page 4 of 11

5 5. DEFINITIONS Translation Interpreting BSL Braille Telephone Interpreting (TI) Face to Face interpreting (F2F) Communicator Guide Deafblindness Deaf Deafened people Blind/ visually impaired Learning Disability The written transmission of meaning from one language to another which is understood by the reader The oral transmission of meaning from one language to another which is understood by the listener A language that employs signs made with the hands and other movements, including facial expressions and postures of the body, used primarily by people who are deaf A system of raised dots used by some blind people to read with their fingers and to write using electronic Braille Involves three or more people (the staff member, the patient and the interpreter) having a telephone conversation Involves a minimum of 3 people (the staff member, the patient and the interpreter) meeting at a prearranged place and time. Face to Face interpreting also includes BSL or other sign language interpreting (which may also be provided by video conference link) Provides guiding and communication in the preferred language of a deafblind person Dual sensory impairment where a combined sight and hearing impairment cause difficulties with communication, access to information and mobility Deaf (capital D) refers to people who are born deaf, often their preferred language is sign language. Deafened people are born with some hearing and usually have a spoken language as their first or preferred language. They may rely on lip reading and the written word for communication Uncorrectable sight loss Cognitive impairment which reduces the NGH-GU-290 Page 5 of 11

6 Easy Read ability to understand new or complex information with a reduced ability to cope independently. (IQ<70) The condition is acquired before adulthood Written information in a format of clear, short sentences supported by appropriate pictures 6. ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES Directorate Managers Managing the budget for interpreting and translating services within their Directorate Checking and authorising invoices received from the service provider Issuing access codes for interpreting services where appropriate to staff members Monitoring the effective and efficient use of the interpreting / translating service within their Directorate being mindful both of the patients needs and the effective use of resources Reporting issues of concern regarding the interpreting / translating service to the Equality Lead, Patient and Nursing Services The Equality Lead, Patient and Nursing Services The Patient Advisory and Support Service Managers Being the operational lead for the service within NGH Distributing a quarterly summary of the use and cost of the service to appropriate Directorate Managers and to the Trust Equality and Human Rights Group Meeting with the service provider and the Trust Purchasing Manager quarterly to discuss feedback regarding the service Producing an annual report for the Trust Equality and Human Rights Group concerning the use of the interpreting/ translating service Advising patients and visitors of the interpreting and translating service where appropriate Informing the Equality Lead of any issues raised regarding the service Taking action regarding Taking action for requests from members of the public when information is requested in other languages or formats Ensuring compliance with the guidelines within their areas of work and responsibility Ensuring appropriate information is readily available for staff informing them of the process of accessing language NGH-GU-290 Page 6 of 11

7 Desktop Publishing All Trust Staff support Utilising the telephone interpreting service rather than the face to face service whenever appropriate. Being mindful of cancellation fees and wherever possible, giving adequate notice to the language service provider, of cancellations and changes in appointment times Being mindful of out of hours charges and wherever possible, book appointments for patients requiring interpreters from 9-5 Monday to Friday. If more than one patient requires an interpreter in the same language, endeavour to book consecutive appointments. Checking the identity of face to face interpreters, confirming the dates and times of their attendance on their time sheet and informing the Directorate Manager or the Equality Lead of any issues regarding the interpreting appointment Following the best practice guidelines (Appendix 2) Producing Trust developed information in different fonts on request Ensuring that they are working in the most up to date and relevant procedural documents. 7. SUBSTANTIVE CONTENT 7.1. Language Support Inadequate communication with people whose first language is not English limits their ability to access services. It also has a major impact on the quality of care and treatment they receive when they do access care when communication between clinicians and patients is inadequate: this could lead to inappropriate or incorrect treatment which can result in negative outcomes. There are many languages and dialects used by patients attending NGH including signed communication such as British Sign Language. This number is increasing as the population becomes more diverse. In certain situations, bilingual staff, carers or family members may be willing to interpret for people whose first language is not English. This could include informal situations, asking basic questions, giving simple instructions or directions. A non independent interpreter may influence or bias information given by or to health professionals as they may have conflicting interests with the patient. It is advisable to use the services of a professional interpreter where an assessment is being completed and a diagnosis made or in legal or complex scenarios. NGH-GU-290 Page 7 of 11

8 Children under the age of 16 must not be used as interpreters in clinical situations. Staff should only use children to gain basic information in the case of an emergency. Where it is decided that a professional interpreter is required, verbal agreement with the patient should be sought before an interpreter is used and their agreement documented in the patient s notes. If a patient wishes to use a friend or relative to interpret in these circumstances, the patient must still be offered the choice of a professional interpreter and the decision must be documented in the patient s notes. Where a professional interpreter is required, the manager will normally utilise the telephone interpreting service as detailed in Appendix 3. Telephone interpreting is a service which is available 24 hours / day, 7 days / week. It does not require prebooking and contact with a telephone interpreter will be made within 1 minute from the completion of the dial up process. Charge for the service is made per minute and is available in 150 different languages. When telephone interpreting is not appropriate, e.g. if there is an issue of communicating bad news, if there is a high risk consensual issue, where there are safeguarding issues or where the interaction is likely to take more than 30 minutes, face to face interpreters may be used as detailed in Appendix 4. They have to be booked in advance and there is minimum charge of one hour and extra charge is made for bookings appointments outside normal working hours Identifying the language Where it is not known what language the patient speaks, the Language Identifier, Appendix 7, can be utilised. There are many languages that have dialects within them which are incomprehensible to each other and the specialist team of language identifiers via the telephone interpreting service will assist as per Appendix 3.. Some languages have no written form and speakers of those may not be able to write or they may read or write in a different language. Some languages are longer than others it takes more words to say the same thing. Sometimes there is no equivalent concept in the other culture so a term has to be explained. In the deaf community, a person who communicates through British sign Language does not necessarily read or write in English. We also communicate in other ways; all have different significance in different cultures % of normal communication is non verbal. We should not assume that we know the intended message behind loudness of voice, gestures, eye contact or lack of eye contact and other body language Access to Language Support The Trust has contracted suppliers of a variety of language support services. Guidance regarding the process of accessing and when to use these services can be found in the appropriate Appendices to this policy. Translation of written documents into different languages (Appendix 1) Translation of confidential patient information into different languages (Appendix 1) NGH-GU-290 Page 8 of 11

9 Translation of written documents into large print for the visually impaired (Appendix 3) Translation of written documents into Braille or audio for the visually impaired (Appendix 3) Translation of written documents into Easy Read format for people with learning disabilities (Appendix 3) Telephone Interpreting (TI) Services (Appendix 5) Face to Face Interpreting (F2F) Services (Appendix 7) British Sign Language (BSL) Service (Appendix 9) Communicator Guide service (cg) for deaf/blind patients (Appendix 10) 8. IMPLEMENTATION & TRAINING Training in the use of the telephone or face to face interpreting service can be provided by the service provider. The Trust Equality Lead will provide details on request. From implementation of this policy Directorate managers will hold the budget for interpreting cost. This has been communicated to all DM and Accountants within the Trust. 9. MONITORING & REVIEW Standard Staff will have p to date advice and documents available on the intranet Interpreting services will be available for staff to access as required. Quarterly meetings will take place with service providers (Big Word). Feedback from patients, staff and interpreters will be collected and discussed with the service providers and appropriate actions taken if required Source of Assurance/ Timescale Policy and associated appendices will put on the Trust intranet. Directorate Managers and Equality and Human Rights Group will receive reports every Quarter, regarding the usage and cost of the service Outline assurance Review the quarterly feedback and this will be fedback to the Equality and Human Rights Steering Group who will determine if further actions are required to improve the service./ Equality Lead Equality Lead Responsibility Equality Lead and Service Providers NGH-GU-290 Page 9 of 11

10 10. REFERENCES & ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTATION Chartered Institute of Linguists (2007) Code of Professional Conduct [online] London. Chartered Institute of Linguists. Available from: [Accessed 7 th June 2010] CILT, the National Centre for Languages (2006) National occupational standards in interpreting [online] London. CILT. Available from: reting.aspx [Accessed 7th June 2010] CILT, the National Centre for Languages (2007) National occupational standards in translation [online] London. CILT. Available from: ation.aspx [Accessed 7th June 2010] Equality Act 2010 (c.15) London. HMSO Independent Registration Panel, The (2008) The Independent Registration Panel IRP for British Sign Language/English interpreters: guidelines for professional practice [online] Durham. IRP. Available from: df [Accessed 7th June 2010] MENCAP (2009) Make it Clear: A Guide to making information easy to read and understand. Available from: d=&sorter=1&origin=audgroup&pagetype=&pageno=&searchphrase=(accessed 28 th September 2010) Royal National Institute for the Deaf (2002) Guidance on providing British Sign Language/English interpreters under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995: for employers, trade organisations and service providers [online] London. RNID. Available from: [Accessed 7th June 2010] NGH-GU-290 Page 10 of 11

11 APPENDICES Appendix 1 Translating written documents Appendix 2 Request for Translation Services Booking Form Appendix 3 Providing Information in Alternative Formats Large print Braille or audio Easy read Appendix 4 Language Identifier Appendix 5 Telephone Interpreting Appendix 6 Language Code Appendix 7 Face to Face Interpreting Appendix 8 Face to Face Interpreting Booking Form Appendix 9 British Sign Language Appendix 10 Communicator Support Guide for Deaf/Blind Patients NGH-GU-290 Page 11 of 11

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