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Your spotlight on local services

Healthwatch Islington make it easier to request an interpreter


Firdowski Omar from Somali Speakers Women’s Group, Maria Gonzalez from Healthwatch Islington, and Mana Abbas from Al-Ashraf Women and Children’s Group give a live demonstration of how our new card can be used to request interpreting support.


Over the past few years Healthwatch has learnt of many instances when interpreters have not been offered to patients who need support to communicate in English for doctors appointments and hospital visits.

We’ve worked with Islington Clinical Commissioning Group to raise awareness within local GP practices of the value of using professional interpreting services rather than relying on the friends and family of patients. We’ve also raised the issue with local hospitals.

In many cases interpreting is not offered because patients don't know they can ask for it, or because individual healthcare staff don’t realise that it is a service that their organisation provides. Healthwatch has produced a card that aims to solve both these issues.

  • Patients can use the card to more easily request an interpreter in the language that they need.
  • The reverse of the card makes it clear to healthcare staff that interpreting services are something that their organisation does indeed offer.

Get in touch with us to request cards for friends or family members, or for clients your organisation represents. We can send you as many as you need.