GPs should exclude family members as translators…

Katie Gibbons in the Times 28th February reports: Cautious GPs put victims of honour crimes at risk. So GPs should seek permission to exclude family members from the consultation and not use them as translators…

“GPs are putting victims of honour crimes at risk by using family members as translators and being afraid of offending “cultural sensitivities”, an NHS adviser on the issue has warned.

Healthcare professionals who use victims’ relatives to translate confidential meetings have been accused of failing to address evidence of honour crimes — which can be connected with forced marriage — and exposing women to violent retribution.

Guidelines issued this week by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) called for immediate reform in the way that doctors, nurses and social workers tackled the issue of honour violence…..”

Mea Culpa. It’s true and I was at fault during my time as a GP. I often thought of getting a translator and ducked it because of time pressures. It should become routine to use a translator with only the patient in the room,  if we are to protect these people… It means more time for each GP and casualty consultation… and in some cities this could be significant.. It also means warnings of intent in practice leaflets, on websites and, I would suggest, on registration forms, which should not be completed by any adult except the one the form applies to.

This entry was posted in A Personal View, Community Health Councils, Patient representatives, Political Representatives and activists, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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