Health information for Portuguese speakers
Dr Vikesh Sharma from Grantham Practice has been leading the North Locality Local Care Network project with award-winning work to improve health inequalities for the borough's Portuguese speaking population.
The latest output is a booklet in Portuguese which explains how to register with a GP, NHS screening, other community services including pharmacy and what to do when a GP is closed. The back of the booklet features a tear-off form for patients to fill in their medical history in Portuguese in one column and space for an English translation in the other. The idea is that someone gets help with translation via friends or a community service. The form can then be taken to GP appointment following registration, with all the relevant health details for a doctor to see, helping to build trust in the doctor-patient relationship.
A small print run of the booklets is being distributed to community centres, churches and children's centres and other venues most used by Portuguese-speaking residents. Use of the booklet and the form will be monitored and evaluated to assess how successful it is in explaining and improving access to services and to consider whether similar booklets in other languages would be helpful.
Vikesh has been delivering the booklets to different venues himself to explain their purpose and to explore the best ways of getting them to the right people. He met Gustavo Meixner, Portuguese and Spanish community outreach worker at The Stockwell Partnership, who said: "I like this form, I think people will use it and it will be very helpful."
The booklet has been funded by the North and South West GP Federations, and produced through the CCG.
Portuguese translation support
If a patient needs an interpreter or information only about an appointment at Guys & St Thomas' Hospital, they can call the Hospital Portuguese interpreter and leave a spoken message on
0207 188 8810.