PRACTIS: PRimary health and Aged Care Translation and Interpreting Services


Australians living in Residential Aged Care Facilities represent some of the sickest and most vulnerable members of the community and frequently suffer from acute, chronic and complex conditions. One third of Residential Aged Care Facility residents in Victoria are from a non-English speaking background and the number is projected to increase over the next ten years.

There is strong evidence that effective communication with Residential Aged Care Facility residents is necessary for equitable, safe and high quality care. Indeed, Commonwealth and State policies highlight patients’ “right to an accredited interpreter if [they] need one when using a publicly funded healthcare service”. Yet, there is little data on current communication practices in Australian Residential Aged Care Facilities for residents with limited English proficiency. There is no information on rates of interpreter use, what factors influence staff decisions to use interpreters or the impact of communication barriers on the delivery of healthcare services.


The overall aim of the PRACTIS project is to improve the delivery of care to older Australians with limited English proficiency living in Residential Aged Care Facilities.

Phase 1:

This project was supported by the Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) as part of the Rapid Applied Research Translation program through Monash Partners.

The aims of Phase 1 were to:

  1. evaluate the relationship between communication barriers and unplanned emergency department transfers for residents with limited English proficiency and
  2. explore experiences of communication (with both staff and fellow residents) for residents with limited English proficiency.

Click here for a summary of the Phase 1 PRACTIS project findings.

Chief Investigators:

Prof Terry Haines, Dr Shiva Vasi, Prof Suresh Sundram , Prof Velandai Srikanth , Dr Joanne Enticott , Dr Jim Hlavac, Mr Rob Macindoe

Associate Investigators:

Project staff:

Dr Katrina Long, Miss Rujuta Nikam

Phase 2:

This project is supported by a Monash University Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Interdisciplinary Research Seed Funding grant.

The aim of Phase 2 is to develop a framework to improve communication with residents of Residential Aged Care Facilities with limited English proficiency.

Chief Investigators:

Dr Joanne Enticott , Dr Jim Hlavac, Prof Terry Haines, Prof Keith Hill, A/Prof Ben Harris-Roxas , Dr Katrina Long, Dr Chuan Yu

Partner organisations:

enliven, Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing, Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria, Migrant and Refugee Health Partnership, Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National)

Project Officer:

Ms Sharon Clifford:


Dr Katrina Long: