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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Migrant Health

Published: 31/10/2018

Some research has indicated that asylum seekers are five times more likely to have mental health needs than the general population and more than 61% will experience serious mental distress.

The Mental Health Charity Mind has published a Mental Health Commissioner Guidance leaflet to help "empower one of society’s most vulnerable groups to get the most appropriate and accessible healthcare required; at the right time, at the right place and in the right way."

Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme (SVPR)

The WMSMP has made a useful summarization of the government's recent Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme, which aims to relocate 20,000 Syrian refugees in Britain by 2020.


Entitlement to NHS treatment

A person who has formally applied for asylum is entitled to NHS treatment without charge, so long as their application is under consideration, or they are appealing a decision. This entitlement includes registering with a GP.

Failed asylum seekers are generally not entitled to free treatment. However, the DH guidance makes it clear that immediately necessary treatment to save life or prevent a condition from becoming life threatening should always be given to failed asylum seekers without delay, irrespective of their eligibility for free treatment or ability to pay.