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Welsh Language Support

Our aim is to enable everyone who uses our services to do so through the medium of Welsh or English, according to personal choice and to encourage other users and providers to use and promote the Welsh language in the health sector.

We have a clear vision – everyone who comes into contact with our services should be treated with respect and dignity, and receive a safe and responsive service that is accessible in their language of choice.

Welsh language training is identified as a key priority to all our staff to ensure we have capacity to deliver services bilingually. We have a full time tutor and a Welsh language training support officer to provide courses and groups for the Health Board staff across North Wales. The tutor has also created a YouTube page which has a range of videos to help you learn basic Welsh phrases - Tiwtor y Gymraeg Betsi Cadwaladr - YouTube

For further information about learning Welsh, please e-mail: BCU.WelshLanguageTutor@wales.nhs.uk

Can I work for BCUHB if I don't speak Welsh?

The ability to speak Welsh is essential for some positions but may only be desirable for others. The Welsh Competency Level will be stated in the job description (see Matrix table below). 

What does ‘Welsh essential’ mean?

‘Welsh essential’ is the ability to speak conversational Welsh with patients and members of the public. Staff have expressed concerns in the past about what would be expected of them if they applied for Welsh essential posts. They thought thought they would be expected to speak every word in Welsh and even asked to translate. Welsh essential means being able to chat to patients in their first language, making them feel at ease in what is quite often a very stressful situation.

There are opportunity for all abilities to learn Welsh once you have started working for us. 

Welsh Language Matrix Table

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Level 5

Can show linguistic courtesy by opening and closing a conversation. Can give, and receive personal details. Can say place names/ first names or Welsh signs correctly.

Can understand the essence of a request from the public and respond to simple requests. Can give and receive instructions and directions.

Is able to use more complex sentences using clauses. Has sufficient vocabulary to deal with unforeseen everyday situations, e.g. chatting when meeting a stranger. Uses accent and emphasis with sufficient accuracy to be intelligible and to clarify meanings. Being able to converse mainly in Welsh but turning to English in discussion to give detailed information.

Is able to use more complex sentences using clauses. Has sufficient vocabulary to deal with unforeseen everyday situations, e.g. chatting when meeting a stranger. Uses accent and emphasis with sufficient accuracy to be intelligible and to clarify meanings. Being able to converse mainly in Welsh but turning to English in discussion to give detailed information.

Fluent in spoken and written Welsh. Can deal effectively with complex inquiries from the public or conflicts in Welsh. Can interview or question in Welsh during an investigation.