Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The experiences of interpreters working in a medium secure forensic mental health unit : an interpretative phenomenological analysis
Author: Molle, Eleanor
ISNI:       0000 0004 2733 5687
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
People from ethnic minorities are vastly over-represented within forensic mental health services in the UK and Wales. Within one medium secure forensic mental health unit (MSU) in London, 20.48% of patients detained in March 2012 did not speak English. Extensive legislation prescribes that there must be equal access for all to health services. Due to the paucity of bilingual workers, interpreters are a necessity. There are significant gaps in the research literature about the work of interpreters in forensic mental health. The current study set out to explore the experiences and understandings of interpreters who have undertaken interpreting jobs in a MSU. Six interpreters were interviewed using semi-structured interviews, and their accounts analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Five super-ordinate themes were identified: (1) Setting the scene: Medium secure forensic mental health units, (2) Unrecognised professional identity, (3) The MSU interpreters: A superior professional excellence or mere mortals?, (4) ‘Catch-22’ and (5) The MSU interpreter and the MSU patient. The results draw together the participants’ phenomenological experiences of working in a MSU, portraying the uniqueness of the MSU environmental setting; the disparaging ways in which the participants perceive that they are viewed; the grounds on which they argue for their occupation to be perceived as a recognised profession; the resulting paradoxical situation in which they find themselves; and the relationship aspects of interpreting for a patient who is detained in a MSU. The study proposes that a means of overcoming the difficulties and conflicts experienced by interpreters working within this setting would inevitably involve the creation of specific and tailored guidelines for other professionals working with interpreters in a MSU; also, the availability of detailed information booklets for interpreters working in a MSU. Further recommendations for mandatory training for both the service provider and the interpreter, and the compulsory provision of support and supervision for interpreters, are proposed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral