When people migrate to the United Kingdom, it’s important they are able to access evidence-based information on how to meet their health needs. When healthcare professionals see recently migrated individuals for the first time, there will undoubtedly be a lot of information to cover and many questions to provide answers to.
Public Health England has a wide ranging remit when it comes to travel and migrant health, and as part of this we have developed an online migrant health guide to support health professionals, which we have recently updated.
Healthcare is a vital part of moving to a new country, and there are lots of aspects for people to consider, ranging from how they access services to how they understand the workings of a new healthcare service and the guide, which is free to access, is designed around this.
When caring for people, we know how important it is that information is readily accessible, concise and to the point. You’ll find four key sections within the guide covering:
- Migrants and the NHS
- Assessing patients
- Health topics
Within these sections there is guidance on explaining the way the NHS works, country-specific information for over 100 countries, and detailed information on communicable and non-communicable diseases as well as links to other useful resources. The guide also points to resources that provide information in other languages to help people understand and digest information as well as possible.
The newest version of the guide incorporates the latest figures, guidelines and statistics, as well as expanded chapters on mental health, human trafficking, culture, spirituality and religion. ,
It aims to build on the previous version in supporting primary care practitioners in their key roles in diagnosis, treatment and providing care. In addition to infectious diseases, the guide highlights a range of other health, social and cultural issues that should be considered for a migrant person such as risk of female genital mutilation (FGM), and information about migrants’ entitlements to the NHS.
The health needs of migrants can be diverse and influenced by experiences in their country of origin, during the migration journey, and after arrival in the host country. In order for these needs to be appropriately recognised and addressed, evidence-based advice is needed for UK professionals.
We hope that the guide provides information which captures all of the above, and we want it to be a resource that healthcare professionals can rely on to keep them up to speed and prompt the right kind of discussions with individuals and families.
To ensure the guide evolves and is as useful as possible, we encourage feedback from those using it. Please send comments or suggestions for improvement for future updates to (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Lauren Rellis, Public Health England