Tameside Interpreting and Communication Service Charter
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is this Charter for?
- What are the Charter Standards?
- What service can users expect?
- What do we except from Service Users?
- How do check the Charter Standards are met?
- How are we improving our Standards?
- What if the Standards aren't met?
This charter tells people who may need communication services what standards of service they can expect from Tameside Interpreting and Communication Service (TICS).
The charter will help you know what you can reasonably expect from Tameside Interpreting Services and what to do if you believe that standards are not being met.
The standards are based on the following values:
- Treating you with courtesy, honesty and respecting your dignity.
- Helping you achieve and sustain the maximum possible independence.
- Working in partnership with you to provide the services you need.
- Involving you in decisions and giving you enough information to make informed choices.
- Not discriminating against you on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, disability or sexual orientation.
- Making sure that you feel able to complain about the standard of services you get and you are not victimised because you complain.
- That Interpreters will interpret faithfully and to the best of their ability information between the Deaf and Hearing person(s) without anything being omitted or added from the meaning.
- That Interpreters will treat as confidential any information which may come to them through their work. This is stated in the CA CDP Interpreters Code Of Ethics.
- That Interpreters should present and behave professionally. They should be independent and not give advice or offer personal opinions.
- Interpreters should dress appropriately (for example plain dark clothing) and wear a minimal amount of jewellery.
- To be able to book an Interpreter by telephone, fax or minicom. The service will always try to fulfil the assignment either by in-house interpreter or a freelance interpreter. It may sometimes be necessary to rearrange appointment times when the in-house interpreter is not available.
- All commitments made by the interpreter will, as far as possible, be honoured. In unforeseen circumstances e.g. interpreter illness or emergency elsewhere, we will make every effort to cover the assignment with another interpreter.
- We will always give priority to providing an interpreter for assignments in Health, Adult Services, voluntary organisations, GP's and the Council, as these organisations have contributed financially to the service.
- If the assignment is not with one of these organisations, we will try to provide an interpreter, if the service provider agrees to pay for the service and there is a suitable interpreter available.
- In an emergency, where life, health or liberty are at risk, the Interpreting Service will provide an interpreter within two hours of receiving the request. This may mean that an interpreter will have to leave a less urgent appointment.
- In a crisis situation or for health or legal appointments, we should provide an interpreter within 24 hours of the request.
- An emergency only, Out of Hours Service will be provided which can be contacted using the emergency mobile telephone. The telephone will be checked for messages at least every hour. We will provide an interpreter out of hours unless the co-ordinator decides it is reasonable to wait until working hours, without there being considerable worsening of the situation or distress occurring.
- We will provide interpreters with the right experience, qualification and of the appropriate sex for the assignment and needs of the service user.
- We will monitor the use of the service so that no single service user over uses the service to the detriment of others, unless there are exceptional circumstances and the Team Leader approves it.
- If you prefer not to have a certain sign language interpreter, the service will do all it can to find a suitable replacement, subject to availability.
- You may ask to see information that is recorded by the interpreting service, in line with the Adult Services Department Access to Records Policy.
- Interpreters will be entitled to take rest breaks every 20-30 minutes.
It is important that you know what to expect from the service and ask for what you feel you are entitled to:
You can help the service to run smoothly by:
- Giving all the information that may be needed about your appointment (i.e. time, place, communication needs).
- Keeping appointments and telling people as soon as possible if you need to cancel.
- Giving the Interpreting service as much notice as possible when booking appointments or cancelling appointments.
- Not over utilising the service so that other people are not able to use it.
- Telling us how you think services can be improved.
This section describes how we check the charter standards are met. It also tells you about the work we are doing to improve them. We use lots of different ways to check the quality of our service. These include:
- User satisfaction cards.
- Quarterly service user meetings.
- Quarterly steering group meetings.
- Professional supervision and training.
- Regular checks and vetting procedures for freelance interpreters.
- Monitoring the nature of complaints.
We are continually looking at ways to make improvements. The areas we are working on at the moment are:
- Introduction and development of Mail Reading Scheme.
- Improve Service User participation (eg. by providing transport to user meetings).
- Improvement in the booking system (eg. telephone service, computer technology).
It is important that you tell us if you think we haven't met a particular charter standard.