Health Advocacy Service

What we offer?

Derman Health Advocacy Services open up access routes to public services by facilitating linguistic and cultural communication and a two-way information flow between service providers and their patients.

  • It is about including the presently excluded.
  • Advocates support of both patients and carers, ensuring that their viewpoints are known whilst also interpreting for them in their consultations with the relevant service providers.
  • Interpreting is only a small part of what we do, we are also there to enable and empower patients from Kurdish, Turkish and Cypriot Turkish backgrounds to make informed choices, to challenge discrimination where it exists and to assist health professionals in understanding the needs, aspirations, expectations and wishes of the Kurdish, Turkish, Turkish Cypriot and EU Turkish patients.
  • Our communities do not only have a language barrier but not knowing the British system also stands in their way.
  • We advise clients on the availability of health and social care services, the options available to them as well as their rights and responsibilities regarding these services.
  • If we are unable to deal with any issues ourselves, we make referrals to the appropriate agencies.
  • We do follow up work for our clients such as making/chasing-up hospital appointments or ensuring there will be adequate language support available at the time of the appointment.

Who can benefit from these services?

Those Kurdish, Turkish, Turkish Cypriot and Eastern European Turkish residents of Hackney, registered with a GP or other health-related clinics or establishments and the health professionals working with them.

How can the service be used or accessed by patients?

  • Our health advocacy service is free of charge.
  • To use the service, patients should arrange appointments with the advocates’ working hours at their GP surgeries or clinics where Derman’s Health Advocacy Service available.
  • Our health advocates work at a variety of different locations and on varied days and times.

We have 1 full time and 4 part-time health advocates providing sessional work at
13 different GPs and Health Centres in Hackney.

How can advocacy services benefit health professionals?

  • Through improved communication it greatly reduces the risk of misdiagnosis. The patient understands what needs to be done in terms of treatment and can work with the health professional to get better.
  • There is consistency in the way the information is relayed to both the patient and the health professional.
  • As the patient is seen with the same advocate regularly, the health professional reaches a greater understanding of the health needs and problems of the patient.
  • The health professional, through consultancy provided by the advocate, can provide a culturally appropriate care.
  • It is less likely for tension and conflict to arise between patients and health professionals due to better understanding and more responsive care.

How can the service benefit your patients?

  • Assistance is provided with registering to a GP and making appointments.
  • Information is provided about the health system.
  • Patients are informed of their rights within the health system.
  • Rules specific to a surgery are explained to patients.
  • Assistance is given regarding dealing with complaints and appropriate referrals are made where necessary.
  • We do interpreting and translation of health-related letters for improved communication between doctors, nurses, other health professionals, reception staff and patients.

Confidentiality and Data Protection

All those employed at Derman perform their duties within a framework of confidentiality. Personal information given to GPs, other professionals and staff by users will not be passed on to anyone outside of the service except where there is a legal requirement to do so i.e. where there are child protection issues or where there is threat of self-harm or harm to another individual.

Take a look at our “Your Personal Information and How It is Used” leaflet for more information on Confidentiality and Data Protection.

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