People who struggle with English frequently ask friends and family: "Study"

60% of respondents admitted to using at least one form of formal interpreting services, the most common being face-to-face interpreting . 45 percent of those who did not use interpreter services were assisted by friends or family during consultations .

Washington, United States, November 30: Researchers at the University of Surrey found that when using their GP clinic, people who do not speak English well often ask friends and family to translate for them.The study was published in the journal JAMA Network Open.Researchers found that 60% of respondents admitted to using at least one form of formal interpreting services, the most common being face-to-face interpreting.Only 37 percent of participants were given a choice of language help (e.g., face-to-face or telephone interpreter) from their primary care trust, according to the study.

Katriina Whitaker, Professor of Psychology and Head of Cancer Care at the University of Surrey, said: Having policies in place to help non-English speakers gain access to primary care services is critical to guaranteeing equal access to healthcare.Professional interpreting services are often used to achieve this goal, but we don't know how they are being used and used by those who they were created to support.Understanding how these services are used can help identify barriers that prevent those who require assistance from using them.Researchers from the University of Surrey examined the acceptance and understanding of people from UK South Asian communities using interpreting services in primary care settings in conjunction with Queen Mary University London, UCL, and the University of Warwick.

However, participants also identified a number of problems with using interpreting services, including difficulties in seeking an interpreter and having to wait more than a week for an interpreter to be available.Other challenges including non-compliance with scheduled dates and/or not knowing the language in which a person was speaking were also raised.Sabine Braun, Professor of Translation studies at the University of Surrey, said: Although it is encouraging to see that 60% of respondents to study language services had employed some form of interpreting service, many others are unable to use it.People aren't aware of it because of a bad past, or the service is too expensive to use, so more research must be done to understand how these services are offered and taken care of to ensure that they are fulfilling patient needs.

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