The Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum has produced a very interesting document about the health experiences of asylum seekers and refugees in Nottingham.
Everyone in the UK is entitled to free primary care, accident and emergency services, contraception and the diagnosis of contagious diseases – including COVID – no matter what their immigration status. All refugees and asylum seekers with an active claim are also exempt from being charged for secondary health care – this is specialist treatment and support provided by doctors and other professionals for patients who have been referred to them , for example from a GP.
Asylum seekers often don’t receive primary health care because of a number of barriers including language difficulties, fear, lack of awareness or destitution amongst others. This report was produced to evidence these barriers as well as document good practice. It was however produced before the pandemic and as such the results reflect the pre-lockdown state of affairs.
Nevertheless it is an important document made even more relevant as the pandemic has impacted everyone’s health and more so those who have difficulty accessing health care at the best of times