VELINDRE UNIVERSITY NHS TRUST
WF 16 WELSH LANGUAGE POLICY
Executive Sponsor and Function: Executive Director of Workforce and OD
Document Author: Welsh Language Officer
Approved by: Workforce and OD Committee
Approval Date: 30 May 2019
Date of Equality Impact Assessment: April 2019
Equality Impact Assessment Outcome: Accepted
Review Date: May 2022
1. Policy Statement
This policy meets the requirements of the Welsh language (Wales) measure 2011. It is a directive set out within the Trust’s Welsh language Standards Compliance notice received in November 2018 with its ultimate aim is to promote and facilitate the use of the Welsh language.
The Trust’s Welsh Language mission statement is:
“Velindre University NHS Trust celebrates the Welsh Language and its cultural importance to Wales. As a caring organisation that promotes and understands the value of meeting communication needs, we will provide person centred services and take a planned approach to all that we do.”
2. Scope of Policy
This policy applies to ALL Staff
When implementing the Welsh language standards and this policy it is important that the Trust is self-regulating as it is the Trust that has ultimate duties placed upon them to comply with the regulations of the Welsh language Standards.
Failure to comply with this policy and the Welsh language Standards could result in reputational and financial penalties being placed upon the Trust.
3. Aims and Objectives
Our aims for the delivery of the Welsh language Standards through this policy are:
- The Trust will prioritise the delivery of patient and donor services
- The Welsh Language will not be treated less favourably than the English Language
- Staff will be supported to deliver the Welsh Language Standards
- Hosted organisations (NWSSP, NWIS and HTW) will have local arrangements in place to deliver the Standards and the Trust will work with them to ensure compliance is monitored.
Ultimately it is the responsibility of ALL staff to deliver the aims and objectives of this policy, however oversight of the policy lies with the Chief Executive and the Trust Board.
Managers must ensure that the policy is disseminated and understood by staff and any requests for training opportunities must be supported by managers in order to increase the language skills available across the Trust.
- NWSSP – NHS Wales Shared Services partnership
- NWIS – NHS Wales Informatics Service
- HTW – Health Technology Wales
For ease of reference in the interpretation of the Welsh Language Standards http://www.legislation.gov.uk/wsi/2018/441/pdfs/wsi_20180441_mi.pdf
Please note the following definitions:
- Person – A colleague from another Health Board, Trust, Welsh Government or Local Authority and including a patient, donor or citizen of Wales.
- Individual – A patient, donor or citizen of Wales.
- The Public – The Public in its entirety, a member of the public who is not interacting with Velindre University NHS Trust in an ‘individual’ capacity.
6. Implementation and Compliance
Reflecting the identified areas within the Welsh language Standards the Trust will focus on five main areas:
- Service Delivery: Standards 1-64 (Primary Care Standards are not relevant)
- Policy Making: 69-77 (Primary Care Standards are not relevant)
- Operational Standards: Standards 79-114
- Record Keeping: Standards 115-117
- Supplementary Standards: 118-121
Appendix 1 of the Policy demonstrates how the Trust will work within these five areas and ultimately the requirements of the Welsh language Standards.
7. Equality Impact Assessment
An Equality Impact Assessment was completed in April 2019 and did not highlight any additional areas of action.
1. Service Delivery
- The public are entitled to communicate with the Trust in Welsh and English. Should the Trust receive written correspondence in Welsh from a member of the public the Trust will respond in Welsh unless the correspondent has stated otherwise.
- The Trust has included a foot note on its paperwork stating that correspondence is welcomed in Welsh and will advise staff to recognise this statement as part of its direct communication.
- Should a person contact the Trust for the first time, via email, staff will include an email signature requesting the language preference of the person and use the information received to communicate from that point on in the preferred language of that person.
Mae Ymddiriedolaeth GIG Prifysgol Felindre yn hapus i dderbyn gohebiaeth yn y Gymraeg neu'r Saesneg. A fyddech cystal â gwneud eich anghenion iaith yn glir i ni ar ôl derbyn yr e-bost hwn a gallwn gynllunio ein cyfathrebu yn unol â hynny.
Velindre University NHS Trust is happy to receive communication in the Welsh or English Languages. Please make your language preference clear to us upon receipt of this email and we can plan our communication accordingly.
Telephone Communication from a main telephone line
- Staff answering the telephone on a main line e.g. the telephone line advertised externally, will answer the phone bilingually at all times using 'Bore da’ or ‘Prynhawn da’ as necessary followed by the name of the Trust (staff can access information on this via an internal guidance document)
- Should a caller request a Welsh language service staff will explain that one is available and if they are not able to communicate in Welsh inform the caller that they may use a translation service to continue the call or continue the call in English if a discussion on a specific subject matter is required.
- When we advertise telephone numbers we will advertise the Welsh and English lines available and provide this information as part of our publicity.
Telephone Communication from a direct line to a member of staff
- For calls made to direct lines at the Trust, again, staff will answer the phone bilingually making a greeting to the caller and follow the same protocol as stated for main telephone lines.
- Staff will be encouraged to use their Welsh language skills whatever their level or ability in order to support caller’s language preference.
- Should staff hold a telephone answer service then the message will be bilingual and staff will be informed of the process in order to record and collect a bilingual message using an internal guidance document.
Telephone calls initiated by the Trust
- Staff who communicate with a person for the first time will ask whether they wish to use the Welsh language in future correspondence. A record of that wish will be kept and used to inform the language of future calls with that person.
Meetings Organised by the Trust
- When inviting one person to a meeting we will ask that person whether they wish to use the Welsh language to communicate. If they wish to do so and others at that meeting are unable to communicate in Welsh then we will arrange simultaneous translation for that person. Likewise if 10% of the people who are invited to that meeting wish to communicate in Welsh and staff at that meeting are unable to facilitate that wish, again, translation services will be used.
- Staff will be advised that they must always ask the language preference of a person prior to a meeting.
- When inviting only one person to a meeting, we will ask that person whether they wish to use the Welsh language to communicate at the meeting. If they wish to do so, the meeting will be conducted in Welsh or if necessary, we will arrange for translation services to be provided.
- When inviting more than one person to a meeting, we will ask every person whether they wish to use Welsh language to communicate at the meeting. If at least 10% (but less than 100%) of the invited persons inform us that they wish to use welsh language, we will arrange for translation services to be provided.
- The Trust will advertise public events bilingually and all materials for the event will be available bilingually.
- Staff will ensure that language preference is asked prior to the event and should public participation be welcomed, staff will ensure that simultaneous translation will be available at that event. Attendees will be asked prior to the event to identify their language preference and communication needs in the Welsh language will not be treated less favourably than English language communication needs.
- Should the Trust fund at least 50% of a public event we will ensure that the Welsh language is not treated less favourably than the English language.
- Speakers at the public event will be asked if they wish to present in Welsh and if so Staff will ensure that this is possible and translation for attendees is organised.
Publications and Forms including patient and donor materials
- All documents and forms that are to be completed by an individual (e.g a consent form for treatment) or available to one or more individual will be available in Welsh and English.
- The Welsh language will not be treated less favourably in terms of clarity or size and we will not differentiate between the Welsh and English version in relation to any requirements that are relevant to the document or form e.g. a deadline for submitting a form or a time scale for response.
- When designing a form or document staff will be made aware of the Bilingual Design Guidelines published by the Welsh language Commissioner: http://www.comisiynyddygymraeg.cymru/hybu/en/guidelines/Pages/guidelines.aspx
- All notices in public areas will be produced bilingually or a separate Welsh and English language version created.
- Websites, Social media accounts and Apps
- Trust websites will be available in English and Welsh and will be as accessible to the user in both language.
- Trust websites will not treat the Welsh language less favourably than the English language.
- Corporate Social media accounts will be available in English and Welsh and should a question be raised in Welsh a response will be given in Welsh.
- All Apps that the Trust publishes will be fully functional in Welsh as well as English other than clinical apps intended for staff.
- All newly erected signs (as of May 2019) including temporary signs or display notices will convey the same information in Welsh and English.
- Welsh language text on signs and notices will be accurate in terms of meaning and expression.
- Welsh speaking staff will identify themselves as such by wearing a Welsh lanyard or pin badge. Staff members learning Welsh will also identify themselves in order to support patients or donors requiring a Welsh language service.
- Staff able to communicate in Welsh will support patients and donors requiring a Welsh language service and should a Welsh speaking member of staff be unavailable staff will be aware that they can access language support via ‘language line’, a translation support service.
- Information on ‘language line’ is available to staff via an all staff guidance document.
- Every reception area will display a sign stating that patients or donors are welcome to use the Welsh language at the reception.
- Should the subject matter of a contract dictate that it should be published in Welsh then the Trust will ensure that the Welsh language will not be treated less favourably than the English language.
- When an invitation for a tender is published the Trust will state that tenders may be submitted in Welsh. If such a tender is submitted then it will not be treated less favourably than a tender in the English language. E.g timescales for receiving tenders and for informing tenderers of decisions.
- Promoting the Welsh language
- The promotion of the Welsh language will be visual as part of the Trust’s identity and any service that we provide.
- Publicity materials relating to the promotion of the Welsh language will be made available in Welsh.
- Should the Trust publicise an English language service that corresponds to a Welsh language service we will state on the English language promotional materials that a Welsh language service is available.
- The Trust will continue to promote events such as St David’s Day, Diwrnod - Santes Dwynwen etc.
2. Policy Making Standards
- Any new policy formulated, reviewed or revised (As of 30th May 2019) the Trust will consider the effects that policy has on:
a) Opportunities for persons to use the Welsh language and
b) Treating the Welsh language no less favourably than the English language
- When the Trust publishes a consultation document relating to a policy decision the Trust will consider and seek views on a) and b) above and c) how the policy can be formulated or revised so that it would not have an adverse effect on the use of the Welsh language
- This will be part of the Equality Impact assessment process.
- When research is commissioned or undertaken in order to assist the development of a policy decision the Trust will ensure that it considers how it would have positive effects on a) and b) above.
- Should a post be offered to an individual the Trust will ask whether a Welsh language contract of employment is required and if that is the individuals preference then the Trust will supply that contract in Welsh.
- The Trust will state on its internal correspondence with staff, that should staff wish to receive any paper correspondence that relates to their employment in Welsh the Trust will make this available. All other employment related documentation will be available via ESR
- Should the Trust publish any of the following policies we will publish them in Welsh and in English:
- Behaviour in the Workplace
- Health and Wellbeing at work
- Salaries and Workplace benefits
- Performance management
- Absence from Work
- Working Conditions
- Work Patterns
Complaints and Disciplinary matters
- Staff wishing to make a complaint may do so in Welsh and should a complaint be made in Welsh a response will be given in Welsh
- Trust documentation setting out the complaints and disciplinary procedures will state that a Welsh speaking member of staff may make a complaint or hold a disciplinary in Welsh
- Should a meeting be required with a member of staff in relation to a complaint the Trust will make it known that a Welsh speaker has the right to conduct that meeting in Welsh. The Trust will provide this by using a simultaneous translator if a Welsh speaking member of staff is not available or specifically skilled to deal with that complaint.
- Should a decision be made on a complaint or a disciplinary process then the Trust will produce this in Welsh if the process has been conducted in Welsh
- The Trust will keep a record of each complaint received against compliance with the Standards
PLEASE REFER TO TRUST CONCERNS AND COMPLAINTS PROCESS ‘Putting things right’
- The Trust will provide a dedicated Intranet page for staff in order to promote and facilitate the use of the Welsh language
- The Home page of the Trust intranet will be available in Welsh and dedicated pages relating to Workforce and OD provision will also be available in Welsh
- Should a Welsh speaking member of staff require the spell checking and grammar facility, this will be available to download on the Intranet site or via a service point call.
Training and Development
- Staff Welsh language skills are assessed via the competency levels within ESR and these skills can be updated according to staff training and development
- Opportunities for staff to receive Welsh language training during working hours will be given either via on-line training or dedicated classroom attendance courses.
- Staff are provided with opportunities to receive Welsh language awareness sessions as part of the statutory and mandatory training programmes
- Email wording for staff is provided as part of a guidance written to support staff in providing a bilingual service
- Staff are encouraged to identify themselves as Welsh speakers or Welsh learners and given a method of identification, either using a lanyard or a badge, in order to support patients and donors.
- Using the Trust’s Bilingual Skills Strategy staff will assess the language requirements of new posts and categorise posts as follows:
- Welsh speaking Essential
- Welsh speaking Desirable
- Welsh skills need to be learnt or
- Welsh skills are not necessary
- Where posts are identified as essential, desirable of need to be learnt the Trust will specify that as part of the advertisement.
- Posts will be advertised in Welsh and English and a response will be given in Welsh should an application be submitted in Welsh
- Applications for posts will be clear that an applicant may conduct their interview in Welsh should they require to do so
- Application forms for posts and subsequent materials, including job descriptions will be published in Welsh and the Welsh language versions will not be treated less favourably than the English language versions of those documents
- The Trust will publish a plan for each 5 year period setting out the extent to which we are able to carry out clinical consultations in Welsh.
- The plan will detail the actions the Trust intends to take in order to increase the ability to offer this service and a timetable for its actions.
- An assessment of the success of this plan will be published, three years after its development and the assessment will be published
- New signs in the workplace including temporary signs will convey the same information equally in Welsh and English and the Welsh will be positioned so it is likely to be read first
- The Trust will use the guidance in the Welsh language Commissioner’s design document in order to inform its signage and displays http://www.comisiynyddygymraeg.cymru/hybu/en/guidelines/Pages/guidelines.aspx
Record Keeping and Supplementary Matters
- The Trust will keep a record of:
- The number of employees who have Welsh language skills and their skills level
- The number of employees who attend a training course and their levels of achievement
- The number of new and vacant posts where Welsh language skills are essential, desirable or need to be learnt
- Will ensure that it records and publishes the Welsh language Standards it has a duty to comply with
- Will publish the complaints section relevant to compliance with the Standards
- Will report annually to the Welsh language Commissioner on its Compliance against the Standards
- Will provide any additional information the Welsh language Commissioner requires in order to assess the Trust’s compliance against the Welsh language Standards