Asylum seeker and refugee community report

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen has worked to find out the views and experiences of asylum seekers and refugees, which will allow Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen to influence local health and social care provision to best meet their needs. The engagement took place over a 5-month period between August 2017 and December 2017, allowing Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen to engage with 60 individuals. Key findings are: Whilst 94% of asylum seekers and refugees are registered with GP and 76% have a good or average experience at their GP surgery. 18% have been referred/accessed mental health/counselling services, despite the fact that our findings show 76% had reported leaving their country of origin due to either state persecution, regional conflict or war. Language barriers and fear of stigma are factors in the reluctance of asylum seekers and refugees to share past and possibly traumatic experiences with health professionals. ‘Safe space’ environments such as the ARC and YMCA appear to be more conducive to asylum seekers and refugees sharing their experiences and stories. Recommendations are: Health and social care providers to utilise available translation services such as Language Line to meet the language needs of asylum seekers/refugees in order to meet the Public Sector Equality Duty of the Equality Act 2010. Build on the ‘safe space’ atmosphere of organisations such as the ARC and YMCA to signpost asylum seekers and refugees to mental health/counselling (possibly self-referral) To build evidence of best practice to share across the public sector for meeting the needs of asylum seekers/refugees.

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General details

Report title 
Asylum seeker and refugee community report
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen
Date of publication 
Thursday, 1 March, 2018
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 1 August, 2017
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 1 December, 2017
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Continuity of care
Cost of services
Health inequalities
Health promotion
Health protection
Holistic support
Information providing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
Engagement event
How was the information collected? 
Engagement Event
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 
GP practice
Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
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.