Ethnicity and Interpreter Needs Questionnaire


Patient Information

People registered with this practice and others in Scotland are being asked to give their ethnic group. Your ethnic group is the group you identify with because of your language, culture, family background or country of birth. It is not necessarily the same as your nationality. For example you may see yourself as White Scottish, Polish or Pakistani. Your ethnic group is important for your care as it may influence your risk of disease. Knowing your ethnic group may also help us to provide services that meet your individual needs and to check that our services treat people from all backgrounds fairly and equally. For children, information about ethnic group can be provided by their parents or guardians.
People are also being asked to say whether they need an interpreter when talking with NHS staff, including the need for sign language support.

Why am I being asked these questions?

Practices across Scotland which are participating in this exercise are asking all their patients to give their ethnic group and if they need interpreter support when talking with NHS staff.

What do you mean by ethnic group?

An ethnic group is the group we identify with as a result of our culture, family background, the language we speak and the food we eat. For example most people in Scotland would identify themselves as White Scottish, while others might identify themselves as Indian. Ethnic group is different from nationality – for example people of many different ethnic groups have British nationality.

What has my ethnic group got to do with my health care?

Diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer are more common in some ethnic groups than others. We want to make sure that NHS services treat people equally whatever their ethnic group, gender, age, religion, disability or medical background.

Isn’t it obvious what my ethnic group is?

No it isn’t. Only an individual can say which ethnic group they identify with. It is important not to make assumptions about people without asking.

Why do I need to answer a question about needing an interpreter?

We know that most of our patients can speak English, but some people may find it difficult to explain their health problems in English. By collecting information on patients’ needs for an interpreter, the NHS will be able to better plan their provision of interpreter services.

Who will have access to this information?

Only staff in the practice will have access to information that identifies you personally. Sometimes it would be helpful to share this information with other NHS staff to make sure that your health care needs are met. This might happen for example if you are being referred to hospital. We sometimes prepare statistical reports for the NHS to help plan services and to check that the NHS is treating people from different backgrounds fairly. These reports will never identify you individually.

Please fill in the information below. If you would prefer not to give us your ethnic origin, please choose the option at the end.

    Your Name (required)
    Your Date of Birth (required)
    Your Email (required)


    What is your main language?
    Do you need an interpreter or sign language support? YesNo

    -- ETHNICITY --

    What is your ethnic origin?
    Choose ONE section from A to G then tick ONE box which best described your ethnic group or background
    A. WHITE