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Providing Services in Welsh

For many families, high quality care means the ability to receive health services through the medium of Welsh because:

  • they feel more at ease to express their concerns in their first language;
  • it is  central to being dealt with respect and dignity;
  • for some people it is also a matter of clinical need, because it can affect their assessment, treatment, safety and outcome. 

That is why providing services through the medium of Welsh is at the core of the drive to promote high quality, safe services in the NHS in Wales.

Many people feel very vulnerable when they use the NHS and do not feel confident to ask for services through the medium of Welsh. That is why the responsibility for making sure that people are cared for through the medium of Welsh must rest with service providers and not patients and their families.

The issue of language choice/need must be put at the core of the patient's pathway through the health system. More than Just Words is a Strategic Framework aimed at improving the users’ experiences of care by increasing Welsh language services, with a specific focus on the informal use of Welsh by front line staff when supporting or caring for people.

It is important for people working in health, Social services and Social care to recognise that many people can only communicate their care needs effectively through the medium of Welsh. For many Welsh speakers’ being able to use their own language has to be seen as a core component of care, not an optional extra.