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NHS: Interpreters

Volume 461: debated on Friday 15 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what expenditure in 2006-07 was for interpreters in the national health system; and what expenditure is forecast for 2007-08. (142768)

National health service organisations are not required to report their planned or actual spending on interpretation and translation services to the Department. Therefore, it is not possible to provide either an estimate of spending in 2006-07 or a forecast for 2007-08.

When planning interpretation and translation services, NHS organisations should take due account of their legal duties, the composition of the communities they serve, and the needs and circumstances of their patients, service users and local populations, and costs.

The Government have established the independent Commission on Integration and Cohesion to look at Government policies and public services and to report in 2007. As part of its brief, the Commission has looked at the provision of language services across Government. The Department is fully supporting the Commission in its work.