If your patient is refusing to use an accredited interpreter they are well within their rights to do so, however, you should consider why and try to seek out their reasons as to why they do not wish to use an interpreter that you are able to supply for them. For example:
- Refusal could reflect anxiety of being identified to have a mental health problem or concern surrounding their treatment.
- Concerns surrounding confidentiality, being identified by the interpreter within their community and the risk of the interpreter sharing this information with other members of their community.
- Historical breaches in confidentiality by interpreters have occurred with serious consequences for clients, therefore their reluctance is understandable. It is important to make your patient aware of the complaint procedure in place and how it is accessible to them should they have any concerns.
- Family or friends believing their English is proficient enough to interpret for them.
You can provide the patient with information surrounding the code of ethics which an interpreter is bound to in order to aid your effort in trying to persuade them into using an accredited interpreter. This information may set their minds at rest as to the professionalism of an interpreter.
Often after identifying the reasons why your patient does not want to use an interpreter, these can be overcome with reassurance and patience etc., resulting in your patient feeling happy and at ease in using an accredited interpreter.