The amount of money St Helier and Epsom hospitals spend on interpreting and translating services for patients has almost tripled since 2008.

Over the last five years the Epsom and St Helier trust spent £129,659 providing interpreters for patients and translating documents, a recent freedom of information request has revealed.

In 2008/09 a total of £13,276 was spent on interpreting spoken word and it has steadily increased ever since.

Last year £37,152 was spent on interpretation and £873 on translating written word.

The trust is able to provide interpretation and translation services in over 140 languages.

A spokeswoman for the Epsom and St Helier trust said: “It is vital that our patients and the staff who are caring for them can communicate effectively, allowing them to discuss treatment, recovery and the care we are providing. 

“In the last three years we have seen a rise in the number of people using our translation service, which we believe to be a result of an increase in awareness of the service. 

"We are pleased that more people are accessesing the service where they need it, and will continue to budget for the provision of our translation services.”