As a GP I believe Derman’s Advocacy Service is an important part of the team. They provide tireless support at the GP surgery. They are sensitive to patients’ problems, understand their needs and translate in a clear and easy way for both sides to understand. They have a great rapport with the patients and staff. They have an excellent understanding of common health problems.
They are a very helpful bridge between two cultures and help me understand the idiosyncrasies of Turkish/Kurdish culture. I think they are indispensable. I personally value their input and opinion.
“I have been working with Derman’s advocates for some time now and I find the service they provide invaluable. It is impossible for me, in the 10 minutes I have with each patient, to take on their case and help with the multitude of forms, signposting etc. that they need particularly when they don’t speak English. I find that many of my Turkish speaking patients they come to me as their GP because they don’t know where else to go and with social services cuts they are increasingly unlikely to find any support from that avenue. I know that Derman’s advocates/advice worker/mental health support workers will take on their case and help them to navigate the intricacies of a system that is difficult to navigate even if English is your first language.
We simply don’t have the resources within the practice to telephone people or fill in forms on behalf of our patients who don’t have English as a first language and therefore it is necessary to have Derman’s services such as Advocacy, Counselling, Advice and Community Navigation services available to us.
I have also seen that many of my Turkish speaking patients their considerable Mental ill Health burden is often, at least in part, secondary to their social and financial problems and if these are not resolved I have no hope of resolving their Mental illness with tablets or even talking therapy. I therefore see the services Derman provide as being completely integral to the medical treatment of my patients.”
“Advocacy is essential in management of complex physical and psychosocial problems in this patients group. This is not adequately addressed by phone translation services when available. Increased availability of advocacy improve management of chronic disease and psychological issues. Also availability of advice and benefit services through Derman extremely important to reduce time spent inappropriately with clients.”
We have used Derman as our local advocacy service for many years now, and have established a very effective rapport with that organization. We run two full Turkish speaking surgeries with four doctors every week, and Turkish speaking advocates are an essential part of that service. Our Turkish speaking population makes up a very significant part of our practice, and advocacy work is essential in maintaining effective health care delivery to that group of patients.
Over the years we have built up a very significant level of trust between clinicians and advocates, together we work with a significant number of patients who have major mental health and physical problems. We now provide care over and above basic advocacy to many of our patients, as well as welfare and benefits advice as well as counseling.
In some cases advocates have helped us with mental health assessments in patient’s homes, with urgent social services and child protection issues within our Turkish speaking community. Without this service there is no doubt we wouldn’t provide the quality of care that we now do.
In particular we value Derman’s commitment to their patient group, and to providing effective health care services within East London.
“London Fields Medical Centre provides a weekly Turkish Clinic with Derman advocate of which I am part. I have worked closely with several Derman advocates for five years. I have been impressed with the advocates` range of medical knowledge and translation skill which allows the clinic to run smoothly and generally allows the patient’s concerns to be addressed. The atmosphere is pleasant and this encourages the patients to be open about their fears.
The advocates` knowledge of cultural differences can prevent misunderstandings and enable a more accurate assessment of their issues. The patients value the advocates` presence an often come specifically to see them outside of the clinic.I have also referred patient to Derman counselling and am happy with the service they receive.
Derman provides an important role to the Turkish speaking community in Hackney in addressing their healthcare needs.”