Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Trust orders staff to only speak in English in front of patients

  • Comment
Nurses at a south London trust are being offered English courses following complaints that they were speaking in other languages in front of patients

In a letter to Lewisham Hospital NHS Trust hospital’s workforce of 2,200, chief executive Claire Perry called on staff to only speak English.
The letter said that patients were complaining of being upset by not being able to understand the different languages spoken on wards.
Half of the trust’s workforce are from a minority ethnic background but hospital managers could not say how many staff speak more than one language.
‘If staff are unable to work with acceptable English it brings into doubt their ability to comply with the requirements of the role,’ said Ms Perry in the letter.
‘Speaking another language may be considered rude and inconsiderate to others. This also applies If you are on your break and are in any public place or if you are within possible earshot of patients, visitors and service users,’ she added.
Wendy Irwin, RCN diversity and equalities coordinator, said: ‘It’s a really difficult and sensitive situation. It will be interesting to see how the trust will monitor this and how it will impact on patient care, particularly if you have a patient whose first language is not English.’

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs