In the UK most health treatment is free. All citizens are entitled to free healthcare services under the National Health Service (NHS). The NHS helps treat and prevent illness.
Am I entitled to health care in the NHS as an asylum seeker or refugee?
Yes you are. As an asylum seeker in the UK you are entitled to exactly the same range of services as any other resident of the UK. You should get an HCI form which entitles asylum seekers to get free prescription, dental care etc.
Is there a charge for health services if I am an asylum seeker?
There is no charge made for:-
-Seeing a doctor or other health professional
-Medical investigations or screening
- Hospital care
The NHS provides services through:
Primary Care - Family doctors are called General Practitioners. Primary Care also includes nurses and health visitors.
Community Clinics - Services for mothers and babies and family planning services for the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.
Hospitals - Accident and Emergency services and specialist health services.
Dentists - for dental checks and treatment.
Opticians - for eye sight checks.
Chemists - for dispensing medicines prescribed by your doctor.
For more information about NHS services, please click this link: http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/AboutNHSservices/Pages/NHSServices.aspx
How do I obtain health services?
Most health services in the UK are accessed through Primary Care. General Practitioners (GPs) provide the majority of healthcare at, or from, premises where they work. This is called a doctors surgery. To obtain most health services it is important to have a GP. Accident and Emergency at your local hospital is only for emergencies. For a non-emergency you should contact your GP. GPs have a certain number of patients on their 'list' and cover a defined geographical area. All UK residents, including asylum seekers and refugees, are entitled to be 'registered' with a GP. This means that the doctor accepts the person as a patient and agrees to look after their health needs. When you arrive in Birmingham and Solihull you should register as soon as possible with your local doctor.
I am an asylum seeker how do I register with a doctor?
You will need to visit the GP you have chosen and ask if they will accept you as a patient. Your Case Owner can help you to find a doctor in your local area. When you first register with a doctor you will have a health check. Everyone who registers with a GP receives a 'new patient check'. A nurse at the practice often does this. You will be asked questions about your past health problems and the immunizations you have received. The Birmingham Asylum Seekers Health Outreach Team (BASHOT) is a National Health Service Team working with asylum seekers and refugees. The team will:-
· Help you find and register with a local doctor and dentist
· Tell you about what other health services are available to you
· Advise you on how to deal with non-serious illnesses
· Provide a confidential service with interpreters if necessary
Here is the address and telephone of BASHOT
Victoria Road Medical Centre, 229 Victoria Road, Aston, Birmingham B6 5HP
Telephone: 0121 327 8901
For further information please contact us:
Afro-British Support Services "IMPACT"
6 Friends’ Institute,220 Moseley Road, Birmingham, B12 ODG
Can I see a doctor the same sex as me?
You can choose to register with a GP who is the same sex as you if you wish. In hospitals, whilst patient preferences for same sex doctors will be considered, this may not be possible.
Can I go to my GP whenever I want to?
Generally GPs have times when they are available. These are called 'surgeries or clinics’ and they run an 'appointment' system. This means that most of the time you have to pre-arrange to see your doctor. Most GPs will also have emergency clinics which you can attend if you need to see your doctor urgently. Ask your GP surgery what the arrangements are. If you need an interpreter when you want to see the doctor this may be arranged for you. Please ask the doctors receptionist.
If I am not happy with my GP can I change?
If you are not satisfied with your doctor you have the right to find a new doctor who is willing to accept you as a patient. The Health Authority can help you do this if you have problems. All your consultations with the doctor are private and confidential. Your medical information will not be shared with anyone else without your permission.
What is NHS Direct?
NHS Direct is at the forefront of 24 hour health care, delivering telephone and e-health information services day and night direct to the public. NHS Direct has an authoritative health website and an NHS Direct Digital TV service. NHS Direct aims to provide information and advice about health, illness and health services to enable patients to make decisions about their healthcare and that of their families. If you or someone in your family is unwell, has had a minor injury or you need advice about a health problem, you can also contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647. This is a telephone helpline and you can speak to a qualified nurse. The service is free, confidential and runs 24 hours a day every day of the year. If English is not your preferred language, NHS direct has interpreters in a range of different languages to help you with your concern.
Community Pharmacists will dispense any medicines that have been prescribed by your doctor. They also sell medicines for a wide range of illnesses such as coughs, colds and flu. Pharmacists also give free advice and information on everyday health problems.
The Birmingham Women's Hospital deals with general obstetrics and midwifery as well as patients with infertility or high-risk pregnancy problems requiring specialist expertise. Birmingham Women's Hospital provides counseling and support for women who have recurrent miscarriages, stillbirth and neonatal death. The Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit provides speedy assessment and diagnosis of newly-expectant mothers. A part of the Gynecological Emergency Assessment Unit see patients on the day of the referral and, in many cases, provide same day diagnosis.
Community based midwives provide care in the community and in the delivery suite, as well as
providing antenatal and post-natal care. A core of midwives at Birmingham Women’s Hospital provides expertise and care to women with complex labours. The midwives also provide pre-pregnancy advice and education programmes.
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:-
Birmingham Women's Health Care NHS Trust
Metchley Park Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TG
Telephone 0121 472 1377
The African Well Woman Clinic provides general healthcare advice, specialist reproductive health
services and also provides help for women with the physical effects of female genital mutilation.
Their contact details are below:-
African Well Woman Clinic
Birmingham Heartlands Hospital
Princess of Wales Women's Unit, Labour Ward, Bordesley
Green East, Birmingham, B9 5SS
Telephone 0121 424 3514
Sexual health and family planning
Family Planning Clinics offer free and confidential advice on all aspects of sexual health. Clinics are held at 19 sites across Birmingham, which are geographically convenient and meet both clinical and cultural needs. Family planning clinics offer a one-to-one service where patients are helped to make the right choice for their sexual needs. Link workers and interpreters are employed within the service to ensure that clients access the full range of services available.
Where can I find a dentist?
If you want to find your nearest Dentist call the following agencies:
Birmingham East and North Primary Care Trust
4th Floor, Waterlinks House, Richard Street, Aston, Birmingham, B7 4AA.
Telephone: 0121 333 4113.
South Birmingham Primary Care Trust
Moseley Hall Hospital, Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 8JL
Telephone 0121 442 5600
Solihull Care Trust
20 Union Road, Solihull, West Midlands, B91 3EF
Telephone 0121 711 7171
If you need emergency dental care call your dental practice for advice on what to do. When the surgery is closed there will be recorded information. If you do not have a dentist you can still get NHS care in an emergency. Call NHS Direct on 0845 4647 for information.
Do I have to pay for dental treatment?
Dental check-ups and treatment are free for:-
· All children under 16 years of age
· Young people under 19 years of age in full time education
· Pregnant women or mothers with babies under one year old
· People receiving income support
· People with an exemption certificate
Charges are made for dental treatment in the NHS for everyone else. Before you have any treatment from a dentist you should understand what is planned and what the cost will be.
If you need your eyes testing or need new glasses (spectacles) make an appointment to see an optician. Opticians have shops in most town centres.
Mentoring and befriending
This service links refugees only (not asylum seekers) with volunteer British mentors to aid integration. RESTORE link both asylum seekers and refugees with volunteer befrienders to provide support and friendship in Birmingham. The organisation called Time Together provides mentors for refugees only.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT THE FOLLOWING:-
Afro-British Support Services "IMPACT"
Unit 6 Friends’ Institute,220 Moseley Road, Birmingham, B12 ODG
Birmingham Churches Supporting Refugees and Asylum Seekers
St. Georges Community Hub,
Great Hampton Row, Newtown
Birmingham, B19 3JG
Telephone 0121 236 0069
COUNSELING AND EMOTIONAL SUPPORT
Sometimes you or someone in your family will feel unhappy or suffer from Post taumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD). When you feel unhappy it may be helpfull to talk to someone. You may feel lonely, bored or something may be happening to you or someone in your family that you wish you could make better. You may not know who to talk to or feel that they may not understand you. Our advisors will try to help you or your family if you tell them what the problem is. Our advisors will not tell anyone else what you have said to them unless you want them to. There are some very good organisations who can help you and they include:
My Time Ltd.
My Time Counseling and Training Centre
172 Herbert Road, Small Heath, Birmingham B10 0PR
Tel': 0121 766 6699
The Testimony Project (Speaking about asylum) www.testimonyproject.org
Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust provides care to people living in Birmingham and Solihull who are experiencing mental health problems. Care is usually provided through one of these four ways:
· Community teams
· Day services
· Inpatient Units
· Outpatient facilities
Most of these are based within the local community so that people can receive treatment in an environment they are used to. Many people are supported in their own homes.
IF YOU FEEL ANXIOUS OR WORRIED YOU CAN CONTACT THE FOLLOWING:-
Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Trust
Unit 1 B1, 50 Summer Hill Road, Birmingham, B1 3RB
Telephone 0121 678 2000
The Medical Foundation provide specialist services and counselling for victims of torture and trauma. They aim to provide survivors of torture in the UK with medical assessment and care, practical assistance and psychotherapeutic treatment and support.
The Medical Foundation office that covers Birmingham and Solihull is as follows:-
Medical Foundation London
111 Isledon Road , Islington ,London, N7 7JW
Telephone 020 7697 7777 Fax 020 7697 7799
Asylum Team Fax 020 7697 7799
The Regional Development Worker that covers Birmingham and Solihull is Lucinda Hardwick.
WHAT TO DO IN AN EMERGENCY?
If you, a friend or a relative are experiencing mental health problems for the first time and need emergency treatment, you should contact your GP.
There are many illegal drugs that are being abused by our society today. Drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, opium and meth are illegal drugs. It is important for everyone to raise their level of awareness in order to reduce the risk of drug abuse or to help someone they care for who is already suffering from drug abuse or addiction. If you need urgent support from a Community Drug Team, you should contact them directly. They can give you advice on where to get help for substance misuse problems. You can find your nearest Community Drug Team by calling 0121 678 2000.
MORE HELP IN AN EMERGENCY
You can also get advice, information and support in an emergency from the following:-
FOCUS LINE on 08000 272127 5.00pm until 9.00am
weekdays and 24 hours at weekends
NHS Direct on 0845 4647 open 24 hours a day
SANELINE on 0845 767 8000 open 12 noon until
11.00pm Monday to Friday and 12 noon until 6.00pm at