Immigration Ethics

Last updated:

Useful resources and organisations

Find links to information resources, specialist organisations and online tools that can help you support your patients who are refugees and asylum seekers.

 

Information:

Health experiences of refugees and asylum seekers in Wales (Wales)
Multi-stakeholder research project led by Public Health Wales.

This comprehensive report incorporates the views healthcare professionals and people seeking sanctuary (including refugees, asylum seekers and refused asylum seekers) to better understand the health experiences of adult refugees and asylum seekers in Wales. The report (full version and executive summary) explains the policy context for sanctuary in Wales and provides recommendations for improving access to healthcare for people seeking sanctuary. 

Leaflet on how to register with a doctor (GP) for asylum seekers and refugees (England)
Produced by NHS England with input from specialist patient support organisations.  

This leaflet provides advice to patients on their rights when registering with a GP practice. It can be used with practice staff to clarify who is able to register at a local surgery, what documents are required and the limited situations in which a practice may refuse to register a patient. 

The leaflet includes a section for practice staff to complete if registration is refused, and further information for patients on their options in this situation. 

Migrant health guide (UK-wide)
Information resource created by the PHE (Public Health England) migration health team.

This guide covers a range of health issues affecting migrant patients, including refugees and asylum seekers. The resource is split into four sections:

  1. Entitlements to NHS care
  2. Common health issues by country 
  3. Communicable and non-communicable health topics 
  4. Guidance and tools to support assessment of patients from overseas, including around language and culture 

Resources for professionals caring for asylum seekers and refugees (England)
Developed by the Liverpool John Moores University School of nursing and allied health, with support from Health Education England’s Mary Seacole Leadership award.

This online resource hub provides information on the rights, health and wellbeing of refugees and asylum seekers. The resources are aimed at a range of professionals, including in health and social care.

The hub signposts to a number of services in the North West of England. However, many of the resources, particularly the sections under ‘Access the healthcare’, will have broad applicability to doctors across the UK.  

 

Organisations:

Doctors of the World – London clinic (England)
Humanitarian and advocacy organisation operating a London clinic (Monday-Friday, with a women’s and children’s clinic on Tuesdays).

This voluntary drop-in clinic based in Bethnal Green offers primary care and health and social advice for people who struggle to access the mainstream NHS, including asylum seekers, undocumented migrants and homeless people. The clinic is not intended to replace regular primary care, and volunteers aim to help attendees access their local GP and other NHS services. 

Services include: health checks and screening, signposting to other services, such as housing advice, destitution support and specialist counselling, and advocacy support to register with a local GP or access secondary care. 

Freedom from Torture
(formerly the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture) (England and Scotland)

Specialist organisation providing services for survivors of torture and other forms of organised violence.

Staff in five centres across the UK provide casework, counselling and advice regarding welfare rights, physical assessment and mental health care. They offer a range of therapies and support groups, including individual and group therapy, family therapy and child and adolescent psychotherapy. They also give advice and help with access to statutory healthcare and write medico-legal reports at the request of solicitors. 

Staff run training sessions and workshops for professional groups working with refugees and survivors of torture, and can discuss issues with healthcare workers. 

Helen Bamber Foundation (England)
Human rights organisation providing treatment and support to refugees and asylum seekers who have experienced extreme human cruelty.

Foundation staff provide support to meet the complex needs of survivors of torture, war, genocide, human trafficking for sexual exploitation or labour, gender-based violence and extreme domestic violence. Services include specialist psychological and physical therapy, housing and welfare support, legal protection, creative arts and skills programmes.

Along with Freedom from Torture they are a principal centre for assessment of the sequalae of torture and write medico-legal reports on referral from legal representatives and doctors.

Migrant Help (UK-wide)
A charity offering advice and support to vulnerable migrants. 

Migrant Help have been awarded a UK-wide contract by the Home Office to provide Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility Assistance services for asylum seekers from September 2019. They work closely with asylum accommodation providers to resolve issues, as well as responding to a range of other complaints.

Services directory (UK-wide)
Compiled by the Refugee Council, a charity providing direct support to refugees and asylum seekers as well campaigning to improve the asylum system in the UK.

This extensive interactive directory provides details of local organisations across the UK that offer specialist support to refugees and asylum seekers, including psychological, advocacy and legal support.

 

Tools:

Migrant.health tools and forum (England)
A portal developed by Doctors of the World and the University of Sheffield to help UK primary care practitioners working with migrant patients. 

Content on this site has been compiled in an easy-to-access format based on NHS, PHE and World Health Organization guidance. Resources available include factsheets, practical ‘how-to’ guidance and templates. The website also aims to create an online community to ask questions and respond to colleagues.

No recourse to public funds tool  - assess access to local authority support (England)
Developed by the No Recourse to Public Funds Network of local authorities and partner organisations and the University of Oxford's Centre on Migration, Policy and Society. 

This tool is not primarily intended for use by the medical profession. However, it may be helpful in cases where a doctor needs to request local authority support for a particularly vulnerable patient who does not have recourse to public funds.  

Safe surgeries toolkit and network (England)

Developed by Doctors of the World for GP practices seeking to reduce barriers to registration for vulnerable migrants. A community of good practice for surgeries with this aim. 

This toolkit sets out seven steps for practices to help ensure vulnerable patients can access the healthcare they are entitled to. Posters and templates to support staff and patients are available for download in a range of languages.

 

Other topics