Access to healthcare for asylum seekers and refugees

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Stockton-On-Tees felt it was important to engage with their local asylum seeker and refugee community to gain a greater understanding of their views and experience of healthcare services in Stockton-on-Tees. Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees designed a questionnaire to gather views at local asylum seeker and refugee drop-ins. Altogether, Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees engaged with a total of 48 asylum seekers and refugees. Only two participants were not registered with a GP Practice, the majority of participants were registered at the Arrival Practice, which provides a specialist service for newly arrived asylum seekers in Stockton-on-Tees. Arrival Practice has been found to be a huge benefit to asylum seekers and refugees in Stockton-on-Tees by improving access to healthcare services, interpreters and information. When participants were asked if there are any reasons why they would not access healthcare services, the majority of participants said they felt confident in accessing services should they require to use them. None of the participants had ever been denied treatment. When participants were asked if they knew how to access different health and social care services, the majority said they would speak to their GP. Other feedback suggested that asylum seekers and refugees would find out how to access other services by speaking to other asylum seekers and refugees. Of the 48 people Healthwatch spoke to, a large proportion of participants gave feedback about their experiences at the University Hospital of North Tees, the majority of which was positive. Only two participants had a negative experience. It was apparent that some participants found it difficult to register with a dentist therefore Healthwatch staff gave appropriate signposting advice. There were no recommendations due to the overwhelming amount of positive feedback about asylum seeker and refugees’ experiences of healthcare services in Stockton-on-Tees.

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General details

Report title 
Access to healthcare for asylum seekers and refugees
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Stockton-on-tees
Date of publication 
Sunday, 31 March, 2019
Date evidence capture began 
Thursday, 28 February, 2019
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 5 March, 2019
Type of report 
Patient experience
Key themes 
Other information of note about this report 
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Engagement event
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Dentist (non-hospital)
GP practice
Secondary care services 
Urgent and emergency care services 
Accident & emergency

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Age group 
Not known
Black/ African / Caribbean / Black British
Sexual orientation 
Other population characteristics 
Refugees or asylum seekers
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.