Once it is determined that a patient may have special communication needs and consent to use communication assistance is obtained.
The patient may consider that a family member or friend could interpret at the consultation; however, a member of the patient’s family or a friend of the patient may not be a suitable translator, especially for sensitive clinical situations or where serious decisions have to be made; the use of children as interpreters is not encouraged.
Qualified medical interpreters are our preferred option and their use is encouraged. Some of our practice team members are bilingual and can act as an interpreter if the patient consents.
The patient’s nominated interpreter or any professional services that have been used are noted on the patient’s health record which provides for an alert to the practice team to make prior arrangements for future consultations and treatments.