French Language Services
Bilingual employees of the region provide service and support to patients, residents and their families across the region every day. The principles of active offer are respected to ensure service in French is evident and accessible. From essential patient information and educational materials, consent forms, websites and advertising to signage, donor recognition and way-finding, reflecting both official languages is essential to our region’s culture and character.
Identification of French-speaking clients:
Language identification and/or preference are assured either at centralized intake, according to the program, or at direct intake at designated sites and programs. There are some known gaps in the identification of francophone clients in regional centralized services. Some are currently being worked on. Others will be reviewed in conjunction with the changes that will occur due to the region’s Clinical Service Plan.
If the client presents at a designated site, they will receive service in French by a designated bilingual employee. At non-designated sites, where possible, a bilingual employee will assist. Otherwise the client can be provided with interpretation services through the region’s Language Interpreter program, if required.
Identification of French-speaking employees:
Some positions within the region, including those in ACCESS Centres, community offices, regional programs such as home care, long-term care, primary care and palliative care and funded agencies are designated bilingual. Individuals in these positions wear a “Hello Bonjour” identification badge, and provide service to patients, residents and families in both official languages. Other bilingual staff members are encouraged to self-identify and use French as a personal choice if they feel capable and comfortable doing so.
Fifty-one designated bilingual positions were posted in corporate and community offices in 2015-16 – 43 permanent and eight term. Forty-one were filled with bilingual incumbents. No positions required a condition of employment. Seven of the 51 positions were filled by anglophone incumbents. Six positions required multiple postings and four term positions were unfilled. The following positions could not be filled:
- Nurse – Health Links – Info Santé;
- Health-care aide;
- Two team managers;
- Resource co-ordinator;
- Case co-ordinator;
- Public health clerk.
All linguistic testing – speaking, listening, reading and writing is done internally, and French Language Services (FLS) also occasionally provides services to other agencies.
- All new patient and public information is regularly translated as per policy (education materials; pre- and post-op surgical information; surveys; and pamphlets, brochures, advertising and videos);
- 236 documents were translated in 2015-16 equaling 143,724 words. Since 2003, 1.9 million words have been translated, representing almost 3,000 documents;
- The majority of essential information on the main Internet site pages is bilingual; however, secondary and drill-down information is not always bilingual due to its detailed or specific nature. Translation of non-essential web materials has been put on hold until the launch of a redeveloped WRHA website;
- Individual program-specific websites (with much less content) are developed entirely French;
- FLS is promoting that the new WRHA website be developed in simple English so that the French translation of the content may follow suit.
- Two evening programs = 86 staff trained;
- Four daytime programs = 27 staff trained;
- Themed workshop – Health-care equity;
- Themed workshop – Mental health;
- Cultural diversity workshop;
- Clinical interviews workshop.
A grand total of 113 employees are formally trained across the region.
- FLS also has a comprehensive resource centre, which also includes access to the two top individual learning systems. Thirteen employees are actively pursuing language training via these programs. In addition, the FLS intranet site has links to eight credible online programs for employees of all levels to access.
Policy Implementation Highlights:
In year four of the FLS five-year strategic plan, the following activities were undertaken:
- Accès-ACCESS Saint-Boniface opened spring 2017. Centre de santé re-located to Goulet site and expanded its services;
- Project underway to improve the identification of francophone seniors at initial point of access to long-term care system;
- FLS Facebook page was developed to ensure greater sharing of WRHA and FLS activities to the francophone community and provide opportunities for dialogue. This page replaces the quarterly print newsletter, La Voix;
- A client satisfaction tool was developed to receive continual feedback from the public regarding the offer of service in French in our designated bilingual programs and site, and the patient experience when presenting at non-designated sites. A French print version was distributed via La Liberté; and the English and French online versions were promoted by various methods including social media. The tools allow FLS to identify trends of concern and to develop more immediate solutions. Data from the tool will be used to aid in the development of the 2018-21 FLS three-year plan;
- A number of employees working in highly specialized positions in non-designated sites were identified to undergo an extensive language-tutoring program. These positions include: speech language pathologist, rehab physiotherapist, occupational therapist, acquired brain injury nurse and client relations. They were also provided profession-specific lexicons developed by FLS;
- A project to enhance after-hours home care service to francophone clients was developed with the Provincial Health Contact Centre and remains ongoing;
- FLS celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2016 with a variety of activities and promotions including the launch of the Champion Award, which will be awarded every two years;
- Extensive French content was provided to support the WRHA component of the new 211 Manitoba program, a searchable online database of government, health and social services that are available across the province;
- Compliance to our new translation policy which implements user fees in a variety of situations was audited.
WRHA FLS regularly collaborates with the following groups and entities:
Université de Saint-Boniface, Santé en français, Consortium national de formation en français, Centre de santé and other RHAs in the areas of program development and evaluation, employee training, translation, research, committee and project work.