Spring 2012 News

ELAN Project - Embedding Language Awareness in NISCHR CRC
The collaborative ELAN project was launched in August 2011. It promotes language and cultural awareness in health and social care research in order to enhance recruitment form the Welsh-speaking population.

Wales is a devolved bilingual nation where the Welsh language is an important part of its national identity and legislative framework. NISCHR CRC is tasked to take account of Welsh language awareness in health and social care research in line with statutory research governance requirements; and to embrace language and cultural sensitivity within the context of good clinical practice. Supported by the Language Awareness Infrastructure Support Service (LLAIS), establishing competency across the organisation is a process that requires an evidence based, whole system approach, taking full account of individual perspectives as well as contextual and organisational barriers and facilitators. This study aims to develop a systematic approach for fostering change in the organisational strategies and operational management of NISCHR CRC to promote language and cultural awareness in research.

Study Objectives
1. Utilise the evidence base for integrating language awareness in health & social care research
2. Apply evidence to set organisational standards for conducting language appropriate research
3. Audit practice against key standards across the three NISCHR CRC regional networks
4. Identify barriers and facilitators to maintaining standards
5. Generate new interventions for integrating language awareness within NISCHR CRC

Study Design
Adopting the PARIHS model for guiding the implementation of evidence-based practice (Rycroft-Malone 2004), this 12 month project runs from August 2011 – August 2012 and includes 4 phases:
• Phase 1: Evidence synthesis
• Phase 2: Standard setting
• Phase 3: Evaluation
• Phase 4: Generation of interventions

What is the purpose of the project?
The project aims to foster change by setting standards and strategies to promote language and cultural awareness in health and social care research in order to enhance recruitment from the Welsh-speaking population.

Why is it important?
It will ensure that NISCHR CRC staff are working within the ‘Research Governance Framework for Health and Social Care in Wales’ and improve access to health and social care research by embracing cultural sensitivity and language choice.

How does it relate to the core business of NISCHR CRC?
The standards will:

  • allow the workforce to demonstrate good practice;
  • allow them to work as advocates for language awareness in the support of NISCHR Registered Research Groups (RRGs); and beyond;
  • contribute to the equality and diversity agenda;
  • align with the core functions of NISCHR CRC.

What are the potential benefits?

  • standards and interventions will contribute to the development of an ethos within NISCHR CRC where access to research is not denied due to language or cultural barriers;
  • all staff will be working to the same standards;
  • access to research will be improved for participants whose first language is Welsh;
  • recruitment from the Welsh speaking population may be enhanced;
  • demonstration of an international model of good practice in a bilingual / multilingual context.

What impact will it have on research participants?
Research participants taking part in a study with the support of NISCHR CRC staff will not be denied access due to language and cultural barriers. There will be opportunities for demonstration of satisfaction and rigour.

How will it influence the work of NISCHR CRC staff?
Over time NISCHR CRC staff will be able to respond to Welsh language needs as readily and naturally as English.

Project team and expertise:

Gwerfyl Roberts, Lead LLAIS, NISCHR CRC / Bangor University Language awareness
Zoe Whale NISCHR CRC Training and development
Jayne Jones NISCHR CRC Operational management
Dr Chris Burton Bangor University Implementation science
Prof Jo Rycroft Malone Bangor University Implementation science
Lucie Hobson NISCHR CRC NW Research Network Language awareness champion
Barbara Moore NISCHR CRC Central Office Language awareness champion
Sarah Hunt NISCHR CRC SEW Research Network Language awareness champion
Marie Williams NISCHR CRC SWW Research Network Language awareness champion

Language Awareness Infrastructure Support Service (LLAIS)
Implement@BU, Centre for Health Related Research, Bangor University
NISCHR CRC senior operational and training staff
NISCHR CRC Language Awareness Champions from the three regions and the Central Office

For further details contact Gwerfyl Roberts at 01248 383165 llais@bangor.ac.uk

August 2011

Award-winning resources launched at the National Eisteddfod

The offiical launch of the award winning Welsh-medium Teaching Resources for nurses was held at the National Eisteddfod Wrexham and District this summer. This valuable resource was awarded the Welsh Government Welsh Language in Healthcare (Education and Training) Award.

Having received the backing and financial support of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (the national institution for the development of Welsh medium education and scholarship at universities in Wales), for their venture, a team from the School of Healthcare Sciences at Bangor University has led the project to develop teaching resources for their nursing students, so that they can receive specialist training in nursing people with learning difficulties through the Welsh.

As well as extending the range of higher education available in Welsh the teaching materials also contribute towards ensuring that people with learning difficulties receive the same standard of healthcare as the rest of society, an issue identified as not currently happening at a national level.

The bilingual resources will be available not only to train nurses at Bangor, but across higher education nurse education in Wales, standardising the provision across Wales in this important area and providing it in Welsh for the first time. The resources will also be available to anyone working in the healthcare sector working with people with learning difficulties and wanting to do so in the Welsh language.

 Ruth Wyn Williams, a Welsh Medium teaching Fellow at the School, who is leading the project and who won the £1,000 Award, said:

“Every graduating student nurse is expected to have developed a basic understanding and awareness of nursing people with learning disabilities. We are also conscious of the need to provide professional nursing staff who are able to practice in a bilingual setting.”

Dafydd Trystan of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol said: “I am delighted that the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol has backed the development of materials in the nursing field. Independent evidence shows that the ability to practice professionally bilingually has a positive effect on the patient, it is therefore very important that nursing students’ opportunities to study in Welsh are substantially expanded.”

June 2011

Welsh language version of HADS now available

LLAIS is pleased to announce the completion of the linguistic validation of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) for the Welsh language. This is a welcome addition to two other depression scales now available in Welsh, namely the Beck Depression Inventory–II and the Geriatric Depression Scale.

The work was undertaken in collaboration with Canolfan Bedwyr, Bangor University; members of the Involving People network; and a team of independent translators. The translation was authorised by Mapi Research, Lyon, France, in their contractual role for GL Assessment, the copyright owner and publisher of the original scale, developed by Zigmond and Snaith in 1983.   

Whilst HADS has been translated into a number of languages, there was no authorised Welsh language version of the scale available. Nevertheless, Welsh speakers, particularly those with mental health problems, may be vulnerable to misdiagnosis and mismanagement if assessments are not available in their required language. Thus, a rigorously translated Welsh version of HADS should be a valuable tool for healthcare professionals and researchers to enhance care provision for service users in the bilingual context of Wales.

Adopting the Mapi Research Unit (2005) Guidelines for the Linguistic Validation of a Patient Reported Outcome Measure, the project was made up of three main phases. These included forward translation; backward translation; and service user testing by members of the Involving People network. A detailed report has been submitted to MAPI Research outlining the rigour of the approach.

LLAIS is keen to proceed to establish the early reliability and validity of the Welsh language version of HADS prior to large scale testing. We would therefore be pleased to hear from research colleagues across Wales who are using (or planning to use) HADS as an outcome measure in their studies and who would be keen to work with LLAIS in embedding a validation study into their research.

For access to the Welsh HADS, researchers are advised to follow the standard HADS licensing procedure, as follows.


Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs)
Welsh Versions
Update June 2011

Click below for update of PROMs available in the Welsh language.

Welsh language Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) Update June 2011

Progress on Validation of Welsh language versions of PROMS

Health questionnaires are being used increasingly in clinical and research settings to monitor the health status of patients and assess the impact of treatment interventions. But individual interpretations of health vary depending on a person’s age, experience and cultural background. Thus, all these factors need to be taken into account when developing health instruments so that they are fit for purpose and sensitive to patients’ needs. This approach is particularly important in health research where the accuracy and reliability of findings is paramount; and study results are often derived from a wide and diverse patient population.

For bilingual speakers, communicating in a way that responds to their language and cultural needs helps explore their personal dimensions of health and provides a more accurate rendering of their health status. In other words, sharing the same language offers a way of establishing common ground for communication and understanding that helps capture the reality of the patient’s perspective. Thus, in the bilingual context of Wales, it is imperative that health questionnaires are offered in English and Welsh, according to individual preference or need.

Nevertheless, despite the increasing availability of bilingual healthcare services in Wales, only a few health questionnaires are available in Welsh. This means that some Welsh speakers may be vulnerable to misdiagnosis and mis-management if assessments are not available in their preferred language. Moreover, this deficit also raises concerns about the rigour of research in a bilingual context.

Building on a programme of work that commenced in 2008, LLAIS has made significant progress in translating and adapting a number of health questionnaires for the Welsh language and testing their efficacy amongst service users. A recent study focusing on the translation and adaptation of the Beck Depression Inventory (II) (BDI-II) offers an exemplar of this process. The BDI-II has been translated into a number of languages and has been shown to be robust and appropriate for use in countries across the world. Nevertheless, until recently, there was no Welsh language version of the instrument available. Adopting a rigorous approach, LLAIS, in collaboration with MHRN Cymru, led the development of a Welsh language version of the instrument that was later tested amongst a group of Welsh speaking university students and patients involved in the FolATED study, a large scale clinical trial on the NISCHR portfolio. The research produced not only a robust Welsh language version of the BDI-II, but it also revealed novel and important findings that inform methods of instrument translation and testing at an international level. Given the unique bilingual context of Wales and the expertise in clinical research and translation methods, LLAIS is in a prime position to lead this work to facilitate the health and well-being of the people of Wales and contribute to the wider knowledge base on cross-cultural clinical assessment. A collaborative research paper reporting on this study is currently under review at Value in Health.

Roberts G, Roberts S, Whitaker R, Tranter S, Prys D, Owen H, Tranter R, Sylvestre Y, Bedson E (2011) Enhancing rigour in the validation of patient reported outcome measures (PROMs): bridging linguistic and psychometric testing to develop a Welsh language version of the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II). Value in Health (under review).

Giving Voice to Older People: A new toolkit for carers

LLAIS is pleased to announce the development of the Dignity in Care Welsh Language Toolkit commissioned by the Welsh Assembly Government as part of its Dignity in Care Programme. This toolkit focuses on the importance and centrality of language in maintaining dignity in care in the context of a bilingual Wales, particularly in the care of the older person and those with dementia. The resource responds to a gap in the literature and policy lead on the significance of language awareness in the current dignity agenda. Moreover, it helps align and embed Welsh language services as an important aspect of person-centred care. Acknowledging a person’s dignity contributes to their sense of good health and independence. This has particular significance in Wales, where language plays an important role in facilitating personal expression and fostering feelings of identity, particularly amongst older people. Thus, where language is often a matter of need rather than choice, providing care that reflects the clients’ language and cultural background is essential in respecting their identity and maintaining dignity in later life.

Aimed primarily at carers and managers, educators and trainers, this resource pack offers key messages that underpin a quality service and tools to guide a best practice approach.


Please click on the link below for a copy of the toolkit.

Dignity in Care: Giving Voice to Older People: Welsh Language Toolkit


Welsh Translation and Linguistic Validation of PROMs for Occupational Therapy

LLAIS was approached during the summer of 2010 to undertake the Welsh translation and validation of three occupational therapy PROMs in preparation for their use as primary and secondary outcome measures for the OTCH study, A Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial of an Occupational Therapy Intervention for Residents with Stroke living in UK Care-homes. This four year study, led by Birmingham University, sets out to evaluate the effects of a targeted course of occupational therapy for people with stroke living in a care home, with particular emphasis on independence in self care activities of daily living and mobility. The setting for the study includes care homes in areas of bilingual Gwynedd where a substantial proportion of the population are Welsh speaking (NAW 2003); and whose language needs / preferences in research studies are facilitated through legislative processes (Welsh Language Act 1993) and research governance (WAG 2009).

The three PROMs include:


  • The Barthel Activity of Daily Living Index (Mahoney and Barthel 1965) - a commonly used measure of self-care independence in basic activities of daily living; and the most universally used assessment in stroke, both in clinical practice and research

  • The Geriatric Depression Scale (Yesavage et al 1983) – a measure specifically designed for rating depression amongst older people; and commonly used as part of the comprehensive assessment of the older person.

  • The Rivermead Mobility Index (Colleen et al 1991) – described as a simple and quick tool for the assessment of mobility disability in neurologically impaired subjects; and increasingly used in international research studies involving patients with stroke.


Whilst all three measures have been translated into a number of languages and proved to be psychometrically robust and appropriate for use in countries across the world, there were no Welsh language versions available.

Following permission from the copyright holders, the team set out to translate and adapt the measures for the Welsh language in line with the ten-step systematic approach set out in the ISPOR Guidelines (Wild et al 2005). The work was undertaken in collaboration with Canolfan Bedwyr, Bangor University; members of the Involving People network; and a team of independent translators. The process of commissioning two independent translations, a back translation, and then creating a synthesis translation for testing with service users, was a useful exercise in achieving a clear and accurate rendering of the PROMs in Welsh. In May 2011, ethical approval was granted to embed the psychometric validation of the Welsh Barthel Index into the OTCH study and this work is now in progress.


August 2010

‘Jargon Buster’ Launched

Involving People staff and network members were present at the launch of the Welsh language version of the Jargon Buster, called ‘Deall y Jargon’; a resource to help understand terminology and processes used in health and social care research.

The launch was run in Welsh (simultaneous translation into English was available) and was held in the Bangor University pavilion at the National Eisteddfod, Blaenau Gwent, on the outskirts of Ebbw Vale. As many people expected, the rain came down in the morning, but by lunchtime, the sun was shining and the atmosphere was energized.

Launching ‘Deall y Jargon’ was a panel of people, including Hywel Williams MP. To an audience of mostly Welsh speakers, Hywel spoke eloquently about the importance of facilitating health and social care research in the language of the participants’ choice. He also spoke of the challenges facing participants when they become involved in research where, often, the language and themes of projects are complex. He applauded the natural and clear language used in ‘Deall y Jargon’.

Hywel formally launched the booklet by presenting a copy to Involving People network member, Alwyn Rowlands, who spoke passionately to the audience about his experiences of getting involved in research projects and the importance of taking an active role. He encouraged those who were not members of Involving People to join up and get involved.

Also speaking on the panel was Gwerfyl Roberts of Bangor University's School of Healthcare Sciences and LLAIS; Delyth Prys, Director, Language Technology Unit, Bedwyr Centre, Bangor University; and Lynne Thomas, Involving People Officer.

Gwerfyl highlighted the importance of recruiting more Welsh speakers to the Involving People network. This, she stressed, is key to ensuring that the Welsh language is given due attention in research and bilingualism becomes an integral part of policy and practice.

In the audience were Involving People network members Avril Cooper, Alan Bowen and Eiddwen Thomas, who are all Welsh speakers. The audience also included health workers, researchers, translators, language officers, members from the Welsh Language Unit, NHS Wales and National Institute for Social Care and Health Research Clinical Research Centre (NISCHR CRC). The diversity of the audience showed how many people feel passionately about improving standards of health services and social care in Wales, and the importance of the Welsh language within this provision.

The translation and adaption of Jargon Buster into Welsh was prepared in collaboration with Cymraeg Clir at Bangor University's Canolfan Bedwyr. The booklet was commissioned by LLAIS, from Bangor University, in conjunction with Involving People. 

‘Deall y Jargon’ is a useful tool for patients, service users and carers who get involved in health and social care research work and Involving People is delighted to have represented at its official launch.

There is a link to the Jargon Buster below.

Gwerfyl Roberts, LLAIS

Alwyn Rowlands, Involving People

Eiddwen Thomas & Lynne Thomas Hywel Williams & Alwyn Rowlands


July 9 2010

PILSen partnership scoops Welsh Language in Healthcare Award

An innovative partnership which includes four Bangor University centres of excellence is celebrating winning a Welsh Language in Healthcare Award.

The PILSen: Practice Interventions for Language Sensitivity: a Pilot Study to Inform the Delivery of Pharmaceutical Services in Wales, research collaboration, is a partnership between the NHS and LLAIS, the language awareness research group of the Centre for Health- Related Research, the ESRC Centre for Research on Bilingualism in Theory and Practice, NWORTH, the North Wales Organisation for Randomised Trials in Health and CEPhI, the University's health economics group.

PILSen has been undertaking an in-depth study examining the link between the language of consultation between patients and community pharmacists and the way people subsequently use their medication.

The Welsh Language in Healthcare Awards are a platform for sharing and celebrating best practice in strengthening the Welsh Language to ensure that Welsh speakers receive health and social services effortlessly in their mother tongue. The PILSen project scooped the award for 'Innovative practice in primary care which responds to patients' needs for service'.

Gwerfyl Roberts from LLAIS said, "LLAIS, which is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government, is already making important advances in enhancing language awareness in healthcare, but this is the first study of its kind to bring together such a broad range of expertise within the community and university to study links between language and health.

"This paves the way towards understanding how language planning can be used to improve the way in which services are provided for the local community and in a wider sense on a national and international level.

"Winning this award will allow us to continue moving forward in planning a wider research programme and will provide a sound foundation for developing policies and providing services in the future."

The adjudicators claimed that "The strength of this research project is that it looks further than just the academic research and addresses the consequences of implementation. It has the potential to have an effect on patients by providing the right tools to show pharmacy users that the patient's language of choice is important. Further steps must be taken to see the exact effect of this but it's clear that the work paves the way towards conducting further research with the aim of widening the provision of bilingual services.

L-R: Marc Phillps, the Welsh Language Board, Gwerfyl Roberts and Heledd Owen from LLAIS with their award.

Public Lecture

“Advocating for Language Services in Healthcare:Learning from the US Experience”

Dr Elizabeth Jacobs MD, MAPP

Wednesday 26 May 2010, 5.00 pm, School of Welsh, Cardiff University


Welsh Translation and Adaptation of Jargon Buster

In a collaborative venture between LLAIS and INVOLVE, the ‘Jargon Buster’ resource has recently been translated and adapted for the Welsh language. The Jargon Buster is one of a series of four booklets that make up the Public Information Pack by INVOLVE. This is a resource for members of the public (for example service users, carers, patients) who are interested in getting involved in NHS, public health or social care research.

The translation was completed by Cymraeg Clir (the Welsh language version of Plain English) in consultation with LLAIS; and adaptations were made, where appropriate, for the context of Wales. The Welsh translation, ‘Deall y Jargon’, will be used for non commercial purposes and will be available on the LLAIS, Involving People and INVOLVE websites:

 To read the document click on the following 'Deall y Jargon'

Commissioned Research Reports

Roberts G, Irvine F and Owen H (2010) Assimilating the Twf Message into the work of Midwives and Health Visitors. Report for the Welsh Language Board

New Research Study

Press Release March ‘09

New LLAIS Resource

LLAIS represented at the International RCN Nursing Research Conference, Cardiff, 24-27/3/2009 where new LLAIS information leaflet inserted into each delegate pack.
The information leaflet was developed in March 2009 aimed at the wider international research community. This demonstrates the global significance of language awareness in healthcare research and the potential for establishing collaborative research to build the evidence base for language appropriate services.
LLAIS Co-Director, Gwerfyl Roberts was invited to deliver a welcome speech given at an evening reception during the conference.

Recent and Forth-Coming Conference Presentations

CRC Cyrmu Briefing, Swansea, March 2010. Poster Presentation

Roberts G and Irvine F. Aligning Cultural Safety and Language Appropriate Practice: new horizons for nurse education. Nurse Education in a Global Community. International Nurse Education Conference, Sydney, April 2010.

G Roberts, H Owen, L Hughes, S Llewelyn, S John, R Whitaker, M Deuchar, D Hughes, F Irvine, M Prys, B Owen, A Rowlands. The significance of bilingualism in healthcare communication: a feasibility study. Communication, Medicine and Ethics (COMET), 8th Interdisciplinary Conference, Boston USA, June 2010

International RCN Nursing Research Conference, Cardiff, 24-27/3/2009

Roberts G, Irvine F, Tranter S & Spencer L (2009) A scoping study of bilingual provision in nurse education.

Communication, Medicine and Ethics (COMET) Seventh Interdisciplinary Conference, Cardiff, 25th - 27th June 2009

Gwerfyl Roberts, Professor Fiona Irvine, Heledd Owen, Delyth Prys (2009)Evaluation of consensus guidelines for the translation of patient reported outcome measures.

International Symposium on Bilingualism 7, Utrecht, July 2009.

Roberts G, Irvine F, Spencer L, Jones P & Tranter S (2009) Evaluation of a scheme for language acquisition planning: an impact survey.

Roberts G, Irvine F, Spencer L, Jones P & Tranter S (2009) Qualitative assessment of a government scheme to support inter-generational language maintenance.

LLAIS presented an exhibition at the Welsh Language in Healthcare Conference and Awards, Llandudno, 21/5/2009 where GWR , LLAIS Co-Director was invited to present a category of awards.

New Publications

Tranter S, Irvine F, Roberts G, Spencer L, Jones P (2009) The role of midwives and health visitors in promoting intergenerational language maintenance in the bilingual setting: perceptions of parents and health professionals. Journal of Clinical Nursing (in press).

Roberts G, Irvine F, Tranter S & Spencer L (2009) Identifying priorities for establishing bilingual provision in nurse education: a scoping study. Nurse Education Today (in press). doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2009.12.011.

Roberts, G.W. & Irvine, F. (2009) Language awareness in research in R. Iphofen, C.A. Robinson & A. Krayer, A. (Eds.) Reviewing and Reading Research: From Ideas to Findings. A training pack supporting members of the research governance and/or ethical review committees. Bangor University.

New Welsh Translations and Adaptations of Patient Reported Outcome Measures

LLAIS is committed to support the use of Welsh-medium health and social care research instruments in Wales and advance methods of translation and validation at a national and international level. Over recent months  the LLAIS team has been particularly active in developing the following measures:

•Beliefs about Medicine Questionaire (BMQ-S11_G8) (Horne, 1996)
•Satisfaction with Information about Medicines Scale (SIMS) (17 Item) (Horne et al. 2001)
•Morisky Adherence Scale (4-Items) (adapted from Morisky et al 1986)

Another measures is currently in progress:

•Medicines and Your Quality of Life (Krska et al 2009)

In correspondence received from Prof D Morisky , he stated:

I appreciate your perseverance and comprehensive translation approach, and quality assurance procedures used to produce a valid instrument.’
Donald E. Morisky

Update of Welsh Language Health Measure Scale

This work is currently in progress and will be available shortly.

December 2008
LLAIS has recently published a chapter for a new book: Irvine F, Roberts G & Bradbury-Jones (2008) The researcher as insider versus the researcher as outsider: enhancing rigour through language and cultural sensitivity in Liamputtong E (ed.) Doing Cross-cultural Research: Ethical and Methodological Perspectives. P 35-48. Springer, US.

Welsh version of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II)

LLAIS is pleased to report that our new Welsh language version of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) has been approved by the publishers, Pearson on 3rd December 2008. The measure was translated in line with ISPOR guidelines (Wild et al 2005) that involved a number of key stages, including forward and back translation: reconciliation; and cognitive debriefing.

LLAIS is now in the process of validating the Welsh language version of the BDI-II with a clinical population sample and a general population sample, as follows:

(a) Clinical population sample

  1. The validation study will be embedded within the FolATED clinical trial which is currently recruiting patients from three centres across Wales.

 (b) General population sample

  1. The validation study will be conducted with a self-selecting sample of Welsh speaking university students who will be invited to complete the Welsh language BDI-II along with a series of other related measures 

Copies of the Welsh version of BDI-II and license agreements are available at Pearson, as follows:

1. Go to www.Pearsonassess.com

2. Select "Contact Us" in the upper right portion of the opening page

3. Scroll down to the center of the page under Contact reasons, select Permission Requests

4. Complete the online form and Submit (please be detailed and specific in your project description to include goals, anticipated outcomes, timeframe, total number of reproductions or administrations
planned, and format (paper/pencil, etc.)

5. When the completed form is submitted it will go to a Permissions Administrator for further action.

Welsh version of BDI-II

Following permission from the publishers and in line with ISPOR guidelines [7], the Welsh language version of the BDI-II was developed between June and September 2008. This process involved a number of key stages, including forward and back translation: reconciliation; and cognitive debriefing.

ARAN Report

Scoping study of bilingual provision in nurse education

This report provides an overview of the Scoping Study of Bilingual Provision in Nurse Education. The overall aim of the study was to produce an overview of Welsh medium provision in nurse education and, in collaboration with key stakeholders, outline plans for developing an all-Wales strategy

The main objectives were:

  • to undertake a critical evaluation of existing research and policy documents in the field and identify the key issues relating to Welsh medium / bilingual provision in nurse education
  • to elicit views from a range of key stakeholders regarding priorities for Welsh medium / bilingual provision
  • to outline plans for an all-Wales strategy for Welsh medium / bilingual provision in nurse education
  • to identify the resource implications of implementing the new strategy

A copy of the report can be found under the publications section of the web page.

New Staff Member

Heledd Owen has been appointed as Research Project Support Officer and will take up the position in January 2009.

Publication of Language Awareness Resources for Nurse Education

Ms Gwenda Thomas AM, Deputy Minister for Social Services launched two new and innovative educational resources at Bangor University's stand at the National Eisteddfod at 1.00 on Monday 4th August.

The bilingual resources are aimed at the health and social care research community in Wales, and one in particular, has been adapted for nurse education. They outline the importance of language considerations when conducting research in the bilingual context of Wales and offer information guidance and learning opportunities.

The first resource is a computer-based interactive educational programme for nurse education that students can follow in their own time. The programme was inspired by HE Nursing Network Panel and funded by the Centre for Welsh Medium Higher Education as part of Higher Education Wales' new strategic framework for Welsh medium provision.

The second resource is a series of six leaflets aimed at the research community that demonstrate the importance of language choice when planning health and social care research, and promotes best practice when conducting research in a bilingual environment.

Both resources have been created as part of the remit of LLAIS (Language Awareness Infrastructure Support Service), funded by the Welsh Assembly Government via the Wales Office of Research and Development for Health and Social Care (WORD).

'The self-directed learning pack is another important step forward in developing bilingual nurse education in our Universities. Through the innovative work carried out at Bangor University and by cooperating across Wales, the Centre for Welsh Medium Higher Education is planning substantial developments in the nursing field which, in the fullness of time, will provide a new generation of nurses confident to practice their profession in both languages, from Anglesey to Monmouthshire,' said Ms Gwenda Thomas AM, Deputy Minister for Social Services and Chair of the Task Group for Welsh Language Services in NHS Wales

As Gwerfyl Roberts, Lecturer at Bangor University's School of Healthcare Sciences explains; "In Wales, where bilingualism is a growing reality, language awareness has particular significance. Evidence shows that acting in a sensitive way to language and cultural diversity improves health and reduces inequalities. In research, demonstrating language awareness helps to empower minority language speakers, enhance the validity of research findings and ensure equity in the development of policy and provision of services."

"Researchers need to respect the language preference of participants in the design, undertaking and reporting of studies. The new learning materials aim to ensure that new and established health researchers in Wales take language considerations into account and respond positively to the language preference of their participants. If this is not considered, it is possible that the research findings could be affected," she explains.
See LLAIS leaflets on the web site for pdf copies or contact llais@bangor.ac.uk. for hard copies.

The CD for nurse education will be disseminated across the universities in the autumn.


Speech: Mrs Gwenda Thomas, AM,
Deputy Minister Health and Social Services
Bangor University Stand,
National Eisteddfod Cardiff and district
4th August 2008

Thank you very much for the invitation to come here and launch LLAIS’ latest resources.

LLAIS is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and is part of CRC Cymru, the Clinical Research Collaboration Cymru. CRC Cymru’s aim is to improve the quality and quantity of research in Wales. This research helps us to improve services and treatments for patients.

It is my pleasure to launch these important resources which raise awareness of language within health and social care research amongst researchers and nursing students in Wales.

As Chair of the Task Group for the Welsh Language in Health and Social Services, ensuring that quality bilingual services are provided in Wales is essential to me. One of the Task Group’s main aims is to raise awareness of the importance of the Welsh language and to influence so that bilingual provision becomes a natural part of health and social care services.

This is essential when it comes to research as it is not only important to provide language choice when undertaking research, but it is important to remember that not including the Welsh speaking community can affect the validity of the research. The Welsh Assembly Government recognises that it is essential for health and social care research to take into consideration the bilingual nature of Wales. Through funding LLAIS we have seen important developments in this field and I am confident that this makes a real difference. It is important to raise awareness of the Welsh language within the research community, and to develop a research portfolio which is culturally and linguistically sensitive.

It’s great to see an electronic bilingual learning programme for nursing students to improve their awareness of language within research. It is very important that the workforce of the future is sensitive to the language choice of patients in Wales. This is especially vital as we develop further the personal aspects of the service available in Welsh, and not only ensuring that things like signs and leaflets are bilingual.

One of the Task Group’s priorities is to ensure effective workforce planning. It is just as important to encourage Welsh speakers to use the language in the workplace. It is essential therefore to develop bilingual training so that using Welsh becomes natural in their day to day work. I would like to praise Bangor University on the Welsh medium higher education provision, especially in the field of nursing.

I’m confident that these latest resources by LLAIS will be a boost to researchers and useful to universities across Wales – not only in the field of nursing, but across health and social care education.

LLAIS and Contact Persons Workshop

21st February 2008,11 a.m. – 3p.m., Bron Eirian, Llandinam

A workshop was held recently at Llandinam for NHS Wales Welsh Language Contact Points. The purpose of the workshop was to gain the advice and expertise of Contact Persons in order to refine LLAIS’ research strategy and create opportunities for collaborative working on projects that facilitate Welsh-medium provision in healthcare.

During the proceedings, the delegates were invited to identify their research priorities for language appropriate healthcare practice using the Delphi technique. The five top research priorities were identified as follows:

  1. Welsh language attitudes of healthcare staff
  2. Demand for Welsh language service provision
  3. Welsh language learning amongst healthcare staff
  4. Impact of bilingual service provision on healthcare
  5. Facilitating uptake of bilingual services amongst healthcare service users

A brief report of the findings was presented at the meeting of the All Wales Task Group for Welsh Language Services on 28th February 2008.

Grant Extension

LLAIS is delighted to confirm that they have recently been awarded a grant extension by WORD to further their infrastructure support role until 2010 and extend their research portfolio

Conference Paper

A paper was presented by LLAIS at the recent RCN International Nursing Research Conference at Liverpool. The title of the paper was: Enhancing rigour in qualitative research from a bilingual perspective.

Book Chapter

LLAIS has recently submitted a chapter for a new book edited by Professor Pranee Liamputtong of La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia entitled Doing Cross-Cultural Research: Ethical and Methodological Considerations. The title of the chapter is: The researcher as insider v the researcher as outsider: enhancing rigour through language and cultural sensitivity.