A Southend News Network investigation has revealed that Basildon Hospital is forced to spend £100,000 per year on Basildon to English interpreters.
This amount is allocated from NHS funds to ensure that medical staff from outside the area are able to communicate with patients.
A spokesperson for Basildon Hospital Trust told our Newsdesk that the cost is unavoidable because of the risk of there being a ‘catastrophic misunderstanding.’
He added: ‘We had an incident in Accident and Emergency last year where a man with testicular pain went three hours without a diagnosis because he kept saying ‘mi knackers are banging.’
‘We only managed to get him the help he needed when a kind-hearted local stepped in and started interpreting.’
‘We’ve already had to get all of our signs reprinted with large pictures and short sentences with single syllable wording.’
‘Please wash your hands thoroughly on both sides’ has been changed to ‘Hand wash good then flip flip mate cheers geez.’
‘Have you paid for parking’ was particularly tricky, but in the end we settled for ‘cough up for where car left mate.’
‘All of our interpreters have spent at least 18 months living in Basildon, and we also have two dedicated grunters who are on call at any given time.’
‘We also have a number of community outreach programmes that will use the interpreters, such as our award winning ‘Ronseal Is Only For Wood’ initiative.’
‘With this scheme, we are able to talk directly to those who are most in need, and chemical skin injuries are already down 32% year on year.’