Health Advocacy Service

Derman’s bilingual Health Advocacy Service has been helping Kurdish, Turkish, Cypriot and Easter European Turkish people who are registered with a Hackney GP and/or reside in City & Hackney since 1991. We provide 78 hrs a week regular interpreting and advocacy sessions within 13 different GP surgeries. Our Health Advocates play a vital role in ensuring the individual’s best interests are at the heart of every decision.

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?

How can our bilingual health advocacy service benefit health professionals and their patients?

  • 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.
  • 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.

A Note on Confidentiality

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 without the individual’s consent. The only exceptions to this policy are where it is reasonably believed that the health and safety of an individual(s) is at risk and/or where we are legally obliged to disclose material, i.e. in the case of child protection and drug trafficking. Every effort is made to discuss this with the client beforehand.

If you would like to have further information about our Health Advocacy Service, please  contact us.