Online tool offers support to GPs caring for vulnerable migrant patients

An online information tool offering practical advice and support to GPs and other healthcare professionals on how to provide high quality care for migrant patients has been launched.

(Photo: iStock.com/BrianAJackson)
(Photo: iStock.com/BrianAJackson)

Migrant.health has been developed jointly by Doctors of the World (DOTW) UK and the University of Sheffield to help those working in primary care learn about and discuss best practice when looking after migrant patients - particularly those in more vulnerable circumstances.

The website, which is funded by the Health Foundation and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), includes factsheets covering areas such as healthcare entitlement, how-to guides on issues including recognising survivors of trauma, trafficking and exploitation and useful links to national resources. It also has a ‘bright ideas’ section where GPs and other primary health workers can share their thoughts and discuss local innovations that have worked for them.

GP Dr Lu Hiam, who is DOTW UK’s health adviser, said: ‘We wanted to create a user-friendly platform that provided a space to share knowledge and experiences in an accessible and supportive way.

‘As a GP, there is so much to stay up-to-date on. We hope the migrant.health tool will be a one-stop site for quick answers before, during and after a consultation with migrant patients.’

Addressing migrant needs

Earlier this year research from DOTW UK found that some of the country’s most vulnerable people were being refused registration at GP practices due to a lack of administrative and clinical staff training.

Nicola Mayer, research director at Yoomee, a non-profit social enterprise that helped develop the site, said: ‘This online platform brings new and innovative ways for healthcare professionals to address the needs of migrants and ensure equity of access to healthcare.

‘The project is a brilliant example of partners drawn from different sectors coming together and harnessing the power of new tech/digital service to create a tool that is accessible to GPs across the country.’

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