Welsh Government
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Have your say on Welsh language services in health and social care

The Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services, Gwenda Thomas, has launched a consultation on how to strengthen Welsh language services to meet the care needs of Welsh speakers, their families and carers.

The Strategic Framework for Welsh Language Services in Health, Social Services and Social Care is being launched at Meddygfa Canna Surgery in Cardiff, a GP surgery that recognises that delivering services  through the medium of Welsh is a fundamental element of care for many Welsh speakers.

To inform the development of the strategic framework, research was commissioned into Welsh speakers’ experience of health and social services that provided valuable insight into people’s expectations and experiences of services.

The consultation seeks people’s views on the proposals.

The Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services said:

“Many Welsh speakers can only express their care needs effectively through the medium of Welsh. For example, people suffering from dementia and people who have a stroke often lose a grasp of their second language. Children under the age of five can often only speak their first language.

“The aim of the framework is to improve the quality of care by ensuring those who provide services recognise that it is their responsibility to respond to people’s need or wish to be cared for through the medium of Welsh.

“We also want to improve the understanding that for many Welsh speakers, the language is a fundamental part of their care need, not an optional extra. We want to make sure users and their families feel that they are able to use Welsh when being assessed and receiving treatment or care.

“This framework is a key step to increasing not only the physical and mental wellbeing of Welsh speakers who need access to health and social care services, but also their emotional wellbeing. I urge all interested parties to engage with this consultation and make their views known.”

Dr Bethan Herbert, Canna Surgery said

“We have a number of patients who want to speak Welsh to us. I believe that it is very important that they can do so. We are fortunate, three of our GPs provide a service through the medium of Welsh.

“This is particularly important when caring for little children, older people and people with conditions such as stroke and dementia. But of course it is also vitally important that everyone has an opportunity to receive care in their own language be they Welsh language speakers or learners.”

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