The aim of this policy is to provide guidance in relation to enabling written and verbal communication between practitioners, staff and patients where communication needs exist. The intended outcomes are that the patient understands the practitioner's communication and that the practitioner understands the patient's communication. It is the practitioner's responsibility to ensure that this occurs and that where necessary an appropriate interpreter, and or translator, are used to facilitate this (see Crown 1995). An appropriate interpreter or translator will have the relevant competency at an appropriate level.


Communications Needs

Communication needs include:

  • Auditory impairment
  • Visual impairment
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Expressive impairment
  • Non-English speakers/readers

And any combination of the above. In addition, children have specific interpreting needs which have been highlighted as a result of recent inquiries (for example, Crown 2003, Children Act 2004).


Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: Diane Lashbrook, Matron, Ambulatory Care Division
Ratified by: Senior Nursing & Midwifery Leadership Committee
Date Ratified: October 2013
Date Issued: October 2013
Review Date: October 2015
Target Audience: All staff
Contact name: Diane Lashbrook, Matron, Ambulatory Care Division


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