This will be the Trust’s fourth annual report dedicated to the delivery, promotion and monitoring of the Welsh Language Standards. The Trust’s focus is strongly embedded in the cultural promotion of the Welsh Language and within this we are committed to comply with the legal requirements of the language as a provider of services for Patients and Donors.
Our delivery of the Welsh Language Standards and the ‘More than Just words...’ framework continues to be the driver for us to ensure compliance and we now have strong governance processess to monitor our performance.
Last year our focus was very much around the commitment to recruitment structures and embedding an ethos of culutral understanding, and this year we continue to stregnthen this. Understanding the language needs of our workforce has driven forward simple yet effective measures to promote our services and has opened discussions with patients around the ‘active offer’ concept.
It is our ambition to ensure our patients and donors are aware of their Welsh Language rights and our response to this awareness becomes even more proactive. Providing bilingual services as a matter of course rather than request is our ultimate aim.
- Steve Ham
Chief Executive Officer
To support its working group the Welsh Blood Service have developed a specific intranet page that complements the work of the Trust. The service has its own specific requriements and felt a need to support staff visually as well as using Trust wide guidance. This has strengthened the division’s understanding and enables staff to see the relevance to their work in promoting and supporting bilingual donor needs.
Velindre Cancer Centre have increased its ‘Active offer’ presence. A simple visual approach has given patients the opportunity to verbalise their language needs.
Staff have reported patients identifying themselves as Welsh speakers as part of the care process and this has ensured a tailored bilingual service to their care pathway.
Increased translation investment again this year means the Trust continues to support patients and donors that need Welsh Language services .
Partnership working with other Welsh Language Managers gives an opportunity to share best practice and begin the development of a shared IT system.
We continue to work with our divisions to ensure a local approach to the development of the Standards. The divisional groups report frequently into the Trust wide WelshLlanguage group and information is fed directly to the Executive team and the Trust Board.
It has proved to be an extremely successful way to ensure information is shared and it informs the Trust Board of any regulatory changes that need discussion at Board level.
Our Board Welsh Language Champion continues to support and challenge our Welsh Language compliance.
The Trust is a host organisation for Health Technology Wales and NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership and they are both working diligently to support the development of the Welsh Language standards.
The Trust continues to actively promote Welsh Language online training and in this reporting year eight members of staff have completed the Part 1 course. We also secured our second Foundation Welsh language course for staff but unfortunately the identified front line members were unable to complete the course.
We are reviewing our approach to training and will be running specific awareness sessions for staff from May 2023 prioritising staff that answer the telephone in line with the requirements of the Welsh Language Standards.
Staff have also been attending a Welsh Language confidence course run by HEIW and will be offered this opportunity again following a positive response. Partnership approaches to this course has proved to be extremely positive.
The newly introduced Welsh Language awareness ‘more than just words...’ on line course has been welcomed by the Trust and staff have embraced the course positively.
Since its introduction in December 2023 we can demonstrate a positive approach to compliance.
Welsh language awareness – More than just words
By February 2023 % of staff
|Research, Development and Innovation||55.1%|
|Transforming Cancer Services||44.44%|
|Velindre Cancer Centre||40.72%|
|Welsh Blood Service||70.48%|
Recording our staff competancy levels in ESR ensures our workforce planning considers the language needs of our services. Currently over 86% of the workforce are completing the competancy field within ESR.
|NHS|LANG|Welsh Language Awareness - 3 Years|||1571||1571||803||
We continue to work diligently on ensuring a Trust wide compliance with the Welsh Language standards whilst promoting and suppporting the ethos of ‘more than just words...’
Our Governance structure is embedded successfully and our document used to monitor compliance demonstrates a stregnthened compliance level. As a Trsut we continue to use this as a benchmark for delivery of our Welsh Language services.
As part of the Supply and Shape activity, work is currently being undertaken to gather a baseline assessment of our workforce, part of this is to assess the current capability of colleagues to speak, read and write in Welsh. The work will also consider how our workforce reflects the local population average, as well as looking at the capability levels of future colleagues (i.e., students currently enrolled on commissioned courses) this will provide a picture of the potential gap that we face as an organisation.
Working with partners we will then implement steps to reduce this gap and meet our requirements as articulated in the ‘More than Just Words’ action plan.’
Our increase in investment over the last two years has meant we have been able to increase our translation capacity. In 2023-24 we will be a team of three dedicted translators and utilising a Service level agreement with NWSSP.
In 2019/20 we were translating almsot 380,000 words. In 2022/23 we have translated just over 1,059,053. This is around 178% increase in the number of words translated in two years.
Translation has supported the time the Trust has given to strengthening its assessment of language needs whilst recruiting. Workforce planning is critical in order to ensure the Trust supports its patients and donors and is proactive with its recritment priorities.
This year we have focussed heavily on ensuring recruitmet managers are aware of the Welsh language recruitment process, we have invested heavily in structures to support this and the workforce team alongside the Welsh language department have now embedded the process securly.
In 2021-22 the translation team dealt with the translation of 24 job descriptions. Since the investment into a recruitment assessment process for Welsh language skills this has increased to 219 job descriptions to the beginning of March 2022-23.
Total number of vacancies advertised as:
|Welsh language skills are essential||1|
|Welsh language skills are desirable||157|
|Welsh language skills need to be learnt when appointed to the post||0|
|Welsh language skills are not necessary||5|
Total Number of vacancies advertised 01/04/2022 - 31/03/2023
From the data we can confirm that the one post identified as essential was a front line, telephony post. The no skills necessary related to posts within a clinical laboritory service with no patient or donor contact.
Integrating our bilingual obligations into all that we do is essential to ‘normalise’ the use of the langauge and an understanding of our commitment to the development and promotion of the Welsh language Standards. As such, as we plan our services we have ensured that our obligations are highlighted in all that we do.
At the Cancer centre a revision of service level agreements has encouraged us to ensure the Welsh language is considered by our suppliers as well as our internal services. A simple yet effective way to ensure our compliance and encourage discussions with providers. It highlights our expectations of the provider and supports a discussion previously not considered:
The Provider warrants and undertakes that it will not discharge its obligations under the Agreement in such a way as to render the Commissioner in breach of its obligations in respect of the Welsh language including, but not limited to, the Welsh Language Act 1993, the Government of Wales Act 1993, the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 and the Welsh Language Standards (No. 7) Regulations 2018.
Our clinical consultation plan has been reviewed and a structure for assessing its actions put in place this year. The plan highlights the struggles of providing bilingual consultations for patients and donors but it also recogises the need to ensure a clear understanding of what skills are needed and where. The divisional groups have been charged with monitoring the action plan and will inform the Trust development group of concerns etc.
This year the WBS have conducted a skills audit as the first step in recognising where Welsh language skills lie. This audit will inform the next process of understanding how we can transfer the need to fit the skill especially as part of the donor collection process and the need for language communication on the front line.
We will continue to work with the divisional groups to ensure our plan is revised and is informed by the language needs of our services.
At Velindre Cancer Centre the strengthening of the Active offer has seen three patients through the appointment system, recieving care and returning for care, in the Welsh language. With new IT systems in place and a commitment from the department to the Active offer, it has enabled the department to respond to the specific needs of their patients.
The new Trust website has been embedded and from November 2022 we are now able to monitor the Welsh language interest in our information.
53 page views
204 page views
338 page views
It is encouraging to note that there has been a 537% increase over four months in views to the Welsh language site.
Performance indicators for the Welsh Blood Service donor contact centre from January 1 – March 16 2023
English language calls: 9,716
Welsh language calls: 366
Welsh language calls work out as around 4% of the calls.
Calls to Velindre Cancer Centre and the Trust headquaters are not measured, however specific actions for staff directly working on the telephone have been communicated. A specific question and answer session was also held to ensure staff understood their duties.
We continue to highlight important events in the Welsh language calendar. This means an additional opportunity for staff to engage with the culture of Wales as well as the language.
This year the Trust has participated in a number of awareness raising days including St David’s Day, Santes Dwynwen, Shw’mae day and ‘mae gen ti hawl.’
Information on these events runs alongside our regular communication where we promote Welsh language traning, on line and face to face.
Our social media accounts have been incredibly busy this year with both divisions taking part in events. We are now offering bilingual approaches to all our promotional videos.
This year we were also fortunate enough to showcase our commitment to Welsh Culture at the HPMA (Healthcare People Management Association) Conference. This is a high profile event and Welsh culture was celebrated in a day long conference with Velindre University NHS Trust showcasing it’s commitment.
The Trust welcomes feed back on its services. Concerns or complaints are used to ensure we continue to understand the needs of our patients and donors. Welsh language users are becoming increasingly aware of their rights to use the language and it is our duty to ensure we can provide those services to the best of our ability. This year we have recieved four official complaints and one formal investigation.
The formal investigation focussed on the Trust’s ability to answer the telephone bilingually and to continue a discussion in the Welsh language. The investigation has not been concluded however the Trust has been proactive and will be providing direct trainig on raising confidenceá to those answering the telephone.
Overall the Trust’s concerns and complaints around the provision of Welsh language services are small, however, we are aware of the need to continuously monitor our provision and have this year updated our Concerns policy to reflect Welsh language provision.
The Welsh Language Unit at NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership has continued to support NWSSP divisions and services with advice on compliance and service delivery to our customers through the medium of Welsh and have supported the organisation and other NHS Organisations with translation support during 2022/23. The demand for translation services continues to grow, and this year we’ve translated even more words that in 2021/22. In 2022/23 NWSSP has translated a total of over 5.2million words for the following organisations:
NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership
Velindre University NHS Trust
Public Health Wales NHS Trust
Digital Health Care Wales
Health Education Improvement Wales
Wales Ambulance Service Trust
Value in Health Care
NHS Wales Shared Services categorises vacant or newly created posts as either Welsh essential or Welsh desirable, and we have introduced a matrix to determine which skill category is most relevant to each vacancy.
We have devised a protocol and a system whereby all advertisements are translated and published on the TRAC recruitment system and NHS Jobs in both Welsh and English since June 2022. We regularly review the system to capture any issues that arise in the creating vacancy advert process.
Easy-read Patient Information Leaflets
During the year, we’ve undertaken a full review of existing easy-read leaflets and new leaflets and have ensured that the translation of these leaflets are suitable for the audience for which they are intended.
Student Awards System
We reviewed the old system to ensure that the user journey was entirely through the medium of Welsh. During 2022/23 we have commissioned a new developer and a new Student Awards System, whereby the interface for students will be available through the medium of Welsh as well as any mail tips, correspondence and messages that are generated by the system. This work will continue into 2023/24.
Workforce Reporting System
This site provides a Web Portal for Primary Care Data accessible to GP practice staff, Clusters and Health Boards of NHS Wales and other approved stakeholder organisations. This site is only available to registered users. However, we have ensured that the system is bilingual.
Duty of Candour Public Video
We have supported the production of an animated video for the public in Wales about the duty of candour in collaboration with Welsh Government. The video is available in both Welsh and English.
Counter Fraud Awareness Course and App
The Counter Fraud Awareness Course for all Wales NHS Staff is available in Welsh, as is the application for NHS Staff to report fraud or suspicion of fraud in NHS Wales.
All Wales GDPR Awareness Course
We have been supporting the production of the All Wales GDPR Awareness Course through the medium of Welsh and this will be available to launch in 2023/24.
All Wales Occupational Health System for NHS Wales Staff
The specification in the tender process for this system has included detailed requirements for the system interface and any correspondence/messages and mail tips to be available through the medium of Welsh as well as English. Further work on this system will continue in 2023/24.
Assessment of compliance across our services
Following on from the pandemic, we have re-introduced annual local assessments across our services in order to identify areas of best practice, identify areas of risk. Local improvement and action plans are established in order to strengthen our Welsh language services offer across all NWSSP services and programmes.
A copy of the full Annual Report for NWSSP can be found on our website: Welsh Language Standards - NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership
Cultural change continues to be high on our priorities. Without a deeper understanding of the need for bilingual services we will continue to enhance a provision that does not have strong foundations, relying heavily on the willingness of supportive staff.
The Trust induction programme is being updated and will again include the importance of the Welsh language, sitting alongside other areas such as Equality and Diversity and the Future Generations Act. Our commitment to these areas are as important to us as our clinical requirements as we know how important they are to our patients and donors. Communication is key to safe care.
The Cultural plan will be revised and a refreshed action plan drawn highlighting opportunities for staff to familiarise themselves with the language and opportunities to learn. We will also be connecting this to the ‘more than just words...’ framework as our actions relate positivily to the aims of the framework.
Our recruitment and workforce planning will also play a key role. Planning with our community needs in mind ensures a targeted approach to recruitment. With this in mind our recruitment process will be supported by strong monitoring to ensure the Welsh language skills needed are highlighted correctly. This continues to be challenging for us as the nature of our services calls upon a small pool of clinical specialisms but we are commited to this agenda.