Primary care needs of refugees, Oxfordshire

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Summary of report content

A study on the experiences of service users and service providers This study was carried out on behalf of the Oxford-based charity Refugee Resource from January to June 2016 funded and supported by Healthwatch Oxfordshire. Information gathered : through interviews, focus groups and the administration of questionnaires with 3 groups of respondents - service users, service providers and voluntary sector organisation staff and volunteers. Methodology used in the study: questionnaires by email, face-to-face and telephone interviews (with signed consent) semi-structured, primarily qualitative and guided by schedule of questions. A relatively small and primarily qualitative study. Acknowledgement of bias in study: health care professionals with greatest concerns about issues, medical practices with relatively high numbers of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants; service users who were already supported by at least one voluntary sector organisation. Most of the interviewees, with a few exceptions, had experienced positive experiences in accessing primary health care. However, they reported a wide range of linguistic, cultural and administrative barriers in accessing appropriate care. Findings and proposal of recommendations of action for commissioning of Oxford’s primary health care services, Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG). • Recognition of the health needs of refugees, asylum-seekers and vulnerable migrants as a key inequality issue that requires specific support and resources Action by: OCCG and all providers • Funding GP surgeries to run a Locally Enhanced Service Action by: OCCG • Interpreters Action by: OCCG, GP surgeries and voluntary sector organisations • Awareness-raising/training for health care professionals Action by: OCCG funding voluntary sector organisations like Refugee Resource, Asylum Welcome and other voluntary sector organisations to run training sessions for GP surgeries, including developing an educational video. • Outreach work in communities with high numbers of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants to orient them to primary health care service Action by: OCCG funding to voluntary sector organisation to facilitate outreach work. The study addressed: • Acknowledgement of positive work by primary health care professionals in Oxford and appropriate services to refugees, asylum-seekers and vulnerable migrants, despite the enormous pressures they are under. • Sufficient funding and working together as ‘shared care’ partners on the recommendations outlined above, the primary health care services, local communities and voluntary sector organisations could achieve greater impact in providing an equitable service and reducing the health inequalities faced by refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants in Oxford.

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General details

Report title 
Primary care needs of refugees, Oxfordshire
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Oxfordshire
Date of publication 
Thursday, 1 September, 2016
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 1 January, 2016
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 6 June, 2016
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Health inequalities
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Focus group
Structured interview
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 
GP practice
Optometry services
Secondary care services 

Details about conditions and diseases

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

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not 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? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Care / support workers
Does the information include other people's views? 
Not known
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? 
Not applicable
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

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.