Survey of NHS interpreters

thumbnail of Report-FinalUNISON’s survey of interpreters working in NHS Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) found that they feel unsupported and at risk when carryout their duties.

UNISON is calling for:

An urgent review of the service – with trade union involvement

An increase in permanently employed interpreters

Holiday pay and sick pay for interpreters

Travel time between jobs

A guaranteed minimum payment when jobs are cancelled

The survey was carried out after members had been in touch. We knew the service was under pressure.

NHSGGC needs to undertake an urgent review and take steps to ensure workers are treated properly and that patients are supported by the best possible service.

The survey identified that:

  • 97% of interpreters had never had an appraisal meeting with their manager and
  • it’s two years since staff were invited to a general meeting to discuss the service and work related issues.
  • Almost 50% expressed concerns about lone working and
  • Almost 60% said that they had experienced traumatic events.
  • 86% said they were not aware of how to report health and safety concerns using the NHS DATIX system.
  • And staff reported are not always paid when a job they are booked for is cancelled.

As our multi cultural society ages, there will be a growing demand for interpreter services and action needs to be taken now to ensure that the service is fit for purpose.