Speak my language: Overcoming language and communication barriers in public services

The Auditor General for Wales published his Report, Speak my Language, in April 2018.

The report “Speak my language” summarises relevant legislation and policy, and looks at how public bodies make their services accessible to people who face language and communication barriers. The report looks in particular at councils and health services. It focuses on interpretation and translation services for people who are deaf and use sign language, and people who do not speak English or Welsh as their main language.

The report points to a number of challenges for the provision of interpretation and translation services. The Wales Audit Office has developed a checklist of issues to consider when planning how to meet the needs of people who do not speak English or Welsh. The checklist covers five areas:

  • understanding the communications needs of the local population;
  • policies and procedures;
  • sourcing interpretation and translation services;
  • training for staff; and
  • providing information to service users.

The report recommends that public bodies review how they make services accessible to people who face language or communication barriers using the checklist. It recommends that the Welsh Government consider widening the scope and coverage of relevant standards that currently apply to the NHS in Wales. It also recommends that the Welsh Government should work with public bodies, representative groups and others to consider issues relating to the supply of interpreters in Wales and quality assurance and safeguarding procedures.

The Public Accounts Committee noted the findings of the report in July 2018.

Business type: Other

Status: Complete

First published: 26/06/2018