Asylum Seeker and Refugee Community Insights

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Doncaster's Health Ambassador's network have summarised the experiences of asylum seekers and refugees during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The report found that every effort is made to support families who may have may have difficulties obtaining food, especially when they are not IT confident or have English as a first language. Charities have been supportive in providing equipment for school aged children so they can access school work. There has been an increase in making back yards as useful as possible, for which tools have been lent. Asylum seekers in general have struggled with the national guidelines in terms of what they can and cannot do during the pandemic. Many appear unaware of the continuing need for social distancing. Living in shared accommodation during the lock down has caused conflict within households. Asylum seekers have experienced additional stress during this pandemic as they fear for family in their home countries and about their own future. The Home Office have not been carrying out asylum interviews during the pandemic. The lack of decision making by the Home Office has been frustrating for many, and often inexplicable. Accessing emergency dental services has been challenging, the first hurdle being able to navigate the automated system at the start of the 111 call as interpreters are often needed.

Healthwatch Doncaster made a number of recommendations including that there should be wider use of telephone interpreter services by the hospital; information should be provided in numerous languages; and now there is greater reliance on IT in all realms of life, reliable WiFi in all NASS accommodation is essential.

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General details

Report title 
Asylum Seeker and Refugee Community Insights
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Doncaster
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 30 June, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Building and facilities
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

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

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
Not known
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? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

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.