Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Asylum seekers’ health needs

With what right do we detain?

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 27 August 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4695
  1. Juliet R Cohen, head doctor, medicolegal reports team1
  1. 1Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, London N7 7JW
  1. jcohenmf{at}

    McCartney highlights concern about the poor provision of mental health care for asylum seekers.1 I found that rates of suicide and self harm are higher in this vulnerable group than in the UK prison population.2

    In prison “first night” physical and psychological health assessments entail many detailed questions designed to identify those at risk of self harm or suicide. In immigration removal centres, however, only a …

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