Aim: To investigate healthcare professionals' perceptions of caring for people from ethnic minorities with poor or no English language skills when accessing health care.
Method: Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 34 healthcare professionals to identify their perception of barriers encountered by those with poor or no English language skills.
Findings: Five main themes were identified in relation to barriers in accessing health care: language; low literacy; lack of understanding; attitudes, gender attitudes and health beliefs; and retention of information.
Conclusion: It is essential that all individuals are able to interact effectively with healthcare services. New and innovative approaches are necessary to meet the needs of people from ethnic minorities accessing health care.