Language and communication barriers in healthcare settings can lead to problems such as delay or denial of care, issues with medication management and people not accessing services that help to keep them happy and healthy. The Surrey Heartlands Clinical Commissioning Groups (Surrey Downs, Guildford and Waverley and North West Surrey CCGs) wish to improve interpreting (spoken word or British Sign Language (BSL) and translation (written word and braille) services available during and in support of GP appointments.

A new contract for GP practices will shortly be procured. The service will offer patients the opportunity to receive support to communicate with their GP during their appointment. This could include providing information in different languages, having an interpreter during the appointment or making sure people can access information in different formats such as braille. The service will also include translation of important patient records which your GP needs to understand.

We’d like to hear from people who work with patients and their families who may need help to communicate with their GP during their appointment.

We hosted a number of focus groups and interviews on Tuesday 5 February at the H. G. Wells Centre in Woking and we have sought people's thoughts on what a good interpreting and translation service could look like when attending a GP practice.