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To be annoyed by obvious waste by nhs

(118 Posts)
Mabel2 Wed 31-Oct-18 19:13:57

After spending the day with my mil at an day surgery in a city hospital I observed two families for whom an interpreter had been arranged. They wore nhs badges so obviously employed by hospital. Now before you all shout racist let me point out that the families all spoke good English except for the patient and seemed more than happy to translate for them. In fact one lady offered to translate for a nurse when the interpreter was not there but was told 'no, I'll find the interpreter'. Why shouldn't the family do this for their relative? It would save a lot of money!

Izabella Wed 31-Oct-18 19:18:55

and sadly (in my experience) the family can interpret giving the wrong information either unintentionally or maliciously. This has huge implications for both treatment and the rights of individuals.

Bathsheba Wed 31-Oct-18 19:21:50

That was exactly what was going through my mind Izabella. Awful, I know, that they have to operate on the assumption that nobody can be trusted, but when there are big lawsuits at stake, then you can't blame them being ultra careful.

agnurse Wed 31-Oct-18 19:31:57

It's typically recommended not to have family members interpret. This is for a number of reasons - lack of familiarity with medical terminology, privacy issues, comfort issues, etc. How would you feel if you had to interpret for a parent of the opposite sex and you had to ask detailed questions about their sexual experiences or their bladder function? What about their mental health? Highly discomfiting. This is why we have professional interpreters.

Iam64 Wed 31-Oct-18 19:33:44

Yes, its inappropriate for family members to act as translators for exactly the reasons given by everyone above.

GrandmaKT Wed 31-Oct-18 19:43:40

And yet other countries don't seem to worry about this. I have family living in Spain and they have to take a Spanish speaking friend or relative with them when they visit the hospital.

Framilode Wed 31-Oct-18 20:26:58

We lived in Spain for 15 years and there were always interpreters available at the hospitals. These were mostly used by British people who couldn't be bothered to learn the language.

crystaltipps Wed 31-Oct-18 20:40:52

I believe that in France if you want an interpreter you have to pay for it. Seems fair.

trisher Wed 31-Oct-18 21:03:28

So crystaltipps non-English speaking rich people are more entitled than poor ones?
Family really can't becompletely relied on. In many cases it is the children who have most English, should they really be expected to understand and translate complicated medical diagnosis and treatment?

crystaltipps Wed 31-Oct-18 21:50:46

So should the state provide interpreters for every possible language at no cost to the individual? It’s a bit of a joke in the court system in the U.K. that people who speak, for example, an obscure African tribal language can ask for an interpreter even if they have good English, knowing they won’t find one. Even when an interpreter was himself arrested he asked for an interpreter! Costs the taxpayer £millions

trisher Wed 31-Oct-18 22:14:00

Does it? Have you evidence for that or is it merely Daily Fail propaganda?

trisher Wed 31-Oct-18 22:16:12

And weren't we discussing the NHS?

crystaltipps Wed 31-Oct-18 22:21:43

Yes but it’s all taxpayers money and it was about interpreters. The story about the interpreter asking for an interpreter was from a barrister friend who was involved in the trial. Didn’t make the papers.

trisher Wed 31-Oct-18 22:23:43

So there is no real evidence just an apocryphal story!

crystaltipps Wed 31-Oct-18 22:29:53

Well there is definitely evidence from that trial , available in the public domain - just not the papers, the guy was tried for defrauding the taxpayer as it happens- not made up! Could give details if you want. Not saying it is an every day occurrence, just that it has happened. And interpreters cost the nhs and public services such as the judicial system millions. You may think this is good use of public money , others may not.

WeAllMakeSport Wed 31-Oct-18 22:55:59

You are entitled to feel annoyed.

The patient is entitled to adequate care.

NotTooOld Wed 31-Oct-18 23:17:24

Another example of obvious waste in the NHS is the number of people I have heard of lately who get called up for a pre-op assessment but then don't get a date for the op within the next few weeks (three, I think). This means they must have another pre-op before the op as the first pre-op is 'out of date'. This happened to my DH and when we asked about it we were told 'the pre-op people and the waiting list people don't really talk to each other'.

Buffybee Wed 31-Oct-18 23:29:50

Some of the Nhs is excellent but much of Nhs is not fit for purpose and a money pit. There needs to be a big shake up but I doubt that it will happen.
Too many Managers, too much paperwork and box ticking and not enough patient care and no accountability at all.

Iam64 Thu 01-Nov-18 08:26:45

The Courts, other public services, including the NHS do provide interpreters where necessary. I'd say if a person speaks "an obscure African tribal language" they definitely need an interpreter.
The fact that some people are criminally inclined isn't a surprise to any of us. Yes, they will be prosecuted if they're found out. Doesn't matter what their race, culture or creed may be, criminals will be criminal.

EthelJ Thu 01-Nov-18 08:55:27

My experience in French hospitals is that there are English speakers who interpret, ( no charge). The same in Spain.

Gma29 Thu 01-Nov-18 09:49:45

I used to work in a city hospital that had to use interpreters fairly frequently. Family members don’t always translate what is asked, particularly where the matter is deeply personal, and younger family members often hedge round the issue when interpreting for older relatives due to embarrassment. This can affect diagnosis and treatment. Yes, it is expensive, but the patient needs the correct care.

crystaltipps Thu 01-Nov-18 09:49:47

But the case I was talking about is where the only interpreter of a language was prosecuted - and demanded an interpreter! The system does get abused by certain people. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have any interpreters, but maybe we should be more careful about whether they are all necessary. Does it help integration when the council prints a leaflet about bin collection in 20 different languages? Does it encourage English speaking? I’ve no problem with people speaking their mother tongue but surely use of English in public services should be encouraged?

missdeke Thu 01-Nov-18 09:56:37

I lived in Turkey for some years and all the hospitals provided interpreters, however, they were all private hospitals so they were paid for. Surely the same criteria should apply here, if the patient is entitled to free NHS care then that should include the use of a translator but if the patient is being charged for the use of our NHS then they should pay for the interpreter too.

kittylester Thu 01-Nov-18 10:04:07

When our son was seriously ill in hospital in Japan there was no interpreter to be found anywhere. Luckily, on one of our visits we met a Japanese lady, in the lift, who arrange to come with us when we saw the consultants.

kittylester Thu 01-Nov-18 10:06:12

Not really related to the op, sorry! It just brought back memories!