Word woes

People whose first language is not English are denied basic
rights from public services, according to a new report. Nearly all
local authorities and NHS trusts provide a translation service but
make no attempt to check if it works.

– Now We’re Talking, from Consumer Congress, 20 Grosvenor
Gardens, London SW1.

One of the local authorities and four of the Benefit Agency
offices investigated had produced translated materials or provided
interpreters but did not tell consumers of the service.

Less than a quarter of all organisations in the survey had asked
users if they were satisfied with arrangements.

‘The old attitude that they’re lucky to get a service at all
seems to have prevailed. It’s time for a change,’ said David
Parker, chairperson of the Consumer Congress, which published the

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