Different situation - no-one is going to faff around looking for a translator if it would delay life saving treatment. However…
How do you get informed consent if you cannot communicate with the patient?
Current law in the UK is pretty clear that if a patient has capacity to make decisions regarding their healthcare then they have a right to do so.
It is not good enough (again, enshrined in the Mental Capacity Act 2005) to shrug your shoulders and say “sorry, you don’t speak English” - all reasonable efforts must be made to communicate with a patient. If it was a blind patient would you not provide information in Braille, if it was a deaf patient would you not provide someone who could sign?
The Express or Daily Wail might claim it is ridiculous to spend money on translators but the NHS has a duty of care encoded in UK law and this is one way in which it meets its obligations.
To do otherwise would be a dereliction of that duty.
I’d actually be surprised if France does not have something similar to the Mental Capacity Act - so routinely not providing translators might even be illegal in France.