12 min read

Crossing the language barrier to provide culturally sensitive care

Beverley Costa - Author First published: Last updated:

We are living in an era of significant migration, with more people moving across borders in pursuit of work, safety and refuge (Castles and Miller, 2009). Discussions about migration are highly politicised and contested, but the experiences of professionals and service users working across languages are vital for the provision of health services.

According to 2011 UK Census data, 4.2 million people (7.7%) in the UK speak another main language besides English. Polish was the most popular ‘other’ main language, with 546 000 people reporting this as their main language (Office for National Statistics (ONS), 2012). London had the highest proportion with another main language (22.1%). In addition, data show that a quarter of births in 2013 were to mothers born outside the UK (ONS, 2014).


The NHS makes use of a wide range of different interpreting agencies. It should be noted that even within the domain of professional

To view the rest of this content login below or request a demo

Log in

Beverley Costa

Related articles

View all