A barrier to communication between people who do not speak the same language.
Health professionals and women not being able to understand each other, and therefore have difficulties with communicating due to language barriers is a barrier to care
"When the midwife visits, I can only speak the sentences about requesting a translator … They said that this kind of service is limited … that is what is difficult being Chinese—language barrier."
Evidence level: High
Parts of the care pathway affected: Deciding to consult, First Contact with Health Professional, Assessment, Decision to disclose, Provision of optimal treatment, Women’s experience of treatment.
Resources that can be used to reduce difficulties with language barriers within services
ACACIA Family support provide pre and postnatal depression support services. They have translated patient information into multiple languages (Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, Hindu, Polish, Punjabi, Romanian, Samoan & Urdu).
“How are you feeling?” screening tools by Abi Sobowale (Sheffield South West NHS Trust).
Guidance from Public Health England about language interpreting and translation:
We recommend service managers ensure recruitment of a diverse workforce.
We recommend service managers recruit translators or form partnerships with other agencies that can provide additional support (e.g. translation services, interpreters) to translate infographics/leaflets into local languages and to act as an interpreter at appointments if women feel comfortable.
We recommend service managers consider investment in live translation tools or telephone interpreting such as Language Line.