Requesting an interpreter
If your GP refers you for a hospital appointment, ask them to request an interpreter in the referral.
As soon as you receive your hospital appointment, call the telephone number to inform us that you will need an interpreter. Be aware that the people who answer the phone will speak English, so you may need someone to help you talk to them.
If you arrive at the hospital without an appointment (in an emergency), tell a member of staff as soon as you arrive that you will need an interpreter.
Cancelling your appointment
If you need to cancel your appointment, let us know as soon as possible. The people who answer the phone will speak English, so you may need someone to help you talk to them.
Over the phone interpreters
If a face-to-face interpreter is not available, an interpreter may speak to you over the phone.
A telephone interpreter will be used during evenings (after 5pm), weekends and bank holidays.
What to expect from an interpreter
During your appointment, the interpreter will:
- accurately interpret everything that is said to the best of their ability
- only interpret what is said whilst the health or social care professional is present
- will not become involved in any discussions, or offer any opinions
- treat all information as confidential
What you need to do when using an interpreter
During your appointment, you should:
- only say what you want to be interpreted
- imagine the interpreter is not there and speak directly to the health or social care professional clearly and in small chunks
- everything that needs to be interpreted needs to be said whilst the health or social care professional is present. The interpreter cannot help or give advice
- not give any form of reward (cash, gift, favour or hospitality) to the interpreter, they are working for and paid by Health and Community Services
- not contact the interpreter directly. Do not give them your personal details. They are not able to give you theirs
- ask questions and don't be afraid to say if you do not understand something