New regulations to formalise Welsh language duties in primary care

(Title Image: Daily Post)

Recently-introduced regulations will widen duties and obligations GPs, dentists, opticians and pharmacists have towards the Welsh language (Cymraeg – pdf, English – pdf). They build upon Welsh Language Standards introduced in 2018.

The explanatory memorandum ( English – pdf; there seems to be a technical problem with the Welsh version) says the regulations will mean independent primary care providers:

  • Will have to tell their respective local health boards which services they’re willing to provide through the medium of Welsh.
  • Will have to make Welsh language versions of any form or document from the local health board available to patients/the public.
  • Must have bilingual signage.
  • Should encourage Welsh-speaking staff to wear a badge identifying that they can communicate in Welsh and also encourage staff to attend relevant training courses, where available, to raise awareness of the Welsh language.
  • Should encourage the recording of Welsh or English language preferences by patients or on behalf of patients.

The memorandum goes on to say the duties are “at a level that is considered appropriate and reasonable” and “provides a reasonable starting point” before any future expansion of Welsh-language services in primary care.

The regulations use the negative procedure, meaning they’ll come into force automatically on May 30th 2019 unless the Senedd tables a motion and votes to block them.

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