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.