HYWL DDA University Health Board on Thursday (30 May 2019) formally adopted the Welsh Government’s new Welsh Language Standards, which place a statutory duty on public bodies to give equal prominence to both the Welsh and English languages, as well as promoting and facilitating the use of the Welsh language, making it easier for people to use in their day-to-day-life.

We’re asking all of our staff to get ready and to familiarise themselves with the statutory duties that the new Standards will bring, and our responsibilities as a health board to ensure we provide excellent bilingual services to all.

The Standards aim to make it clear to organisations what their duties are in relation to the Welsh language; make it clearer to Welsh speakers about the services they can expect to receive in Welsh, make Welsh language services more consistent and improve their quality, ensuring important messages are reaching patients in their first language and making people feel more valued.

Enfys Williams, Welsh Language Services Manager at Hywel Dda, said: “Here at Hywel Dda we acknowledge and celebrate that in our communities in West Wales, we have a high proportion of our population – whether patients, service users or carers – who wish to, and have a need to, communicate with the health service using their first language through the medium of Welsh.

“It is important that our Welsh speaking population feel confident to use Welsh as an ordinary part of everyday life. They should be able to do so in all manner of formal and informal situations, and Welsh language services should be accessible and of a high standard so people are able to use them as easily as possible.”

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda University Health Board, added: “The Welsh Language Standards are nearly upon us and I’d like to set out very clearly that these are everyone’s responsibility, as the Welsh language needs to have parity with the English language across all of our services.

“The standards are also very clear that people have a right to receive their care and live day-to-day in the language of their choosing, and I would remind all of our staff that in the work you do every day communication is so important to us and to be able to do that in the language you choose goes to the heart of what it is to be in the NHS.”

Follow the link for more information and to access the health board’s compliance notice: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/862/page/97834

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