9 July 2015

Coleg Cymraeg and Bangor University: making a difference in Welsh language healthcare

9 July 2015
Ground-breaking work to extend and improve the use of the Welsh language in health and social care has been recognised with Awards to Bangor University in two categories.

The Awards were made at the Welsh Language in Health, Social Services and Social Care Conference and Awards held in Llandudno earlier this month.

The Awards raise awareness of the importance of the Welsh language in the health and social services sectors in particular when dealing with patients, their families and the public.

An innovative scheme to encourage the use of Welsh in healthcare services has been developed and applied at Bangor University’s School of Healthcare Sciences with funding from the Coleg Cymraeg.

The project which received an Award for education and training in the workplace which increases ability and confidence to deliver services in Welsh category. The second Award for Work with priority groups: mental health service users was given for the translation and adaptation of a cognitive assessment toolkit for Welsh speakers. 

Having received tailored training and support, six students are the first to become Welsh Language Champions. All six along with others, will be able to encourage new developments in the Welsh language for patients and service users throughout their careers.

Sharon Pierce, lecturer under the auspices of the Coleg said: “Welsh Language Champions need to be encouraged in all areas- and especially in healthcare. It is particularly important that we encourage nurses at the start of their career and support them to have the self-confidence to question and encourage others.”

The project is part of a wider programme of work undertaken at NWORTH (North Wales Organisation for Randomised Trials in Health and Social Care) by LLAIS (Language Awareness Infrastructure Support Group) that promotes opportunities for using the Welsh language in health and social care research across Wales to meet the needs of bilingual speakers. Gwerfyl Roberts, Director of LLAIS said:

“English has being the predominant language in the health service, but a move towards person-centred care recognises the importance of providing care and information in a person’s first language. To make that happen, we need to provide staff with the toolkits and training to be able to deliver those services. 

Language Champions are congratulated in the photo by Meri Huws, Welsh Language Commissioner 

Coleg Cymraeg and Bangor University: making a difference in Welsh language healthcare