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Practice Practice Pointer

Initial health assessments for newly arrived migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers

BMJ 2022; 377 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj-2021-068821 (Published 28 April 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;377:e068821

Rapid Response:

Re: Initial health assessments for newly arrived migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers

Dear Editor,

A useful and very timely primer on dealing with amongst the most marginalised of patients. There are lessons in the article that is transferable to all branches of practice.

I wondered, though, shouldn't there be a greater emphasis for our GP colleagues in Urgent Treatment Centres (UTCs)? Certainly my Trusts' 2 acute hospital's UTCs see newly arrived migrants, asylum seekers, and refugee patients. While the UTCs come under the A&E umbrella there are frequently eligibility and payment questions about direct referrals from UTC to SDEC, O&G, Infectious Diseases which tend to bypass the Emergency Department.

If we are meaning A&E to include the co-located GP services that are often present, I think the article should be clearer on it. Of course many of the services required for the newly arrived person will not be available in a UTC but this is where the adequate signposting referenced comes into play.

That we have constructed a needlessly complicated value chain is perhaps a discussion for another article.

Competing interests: No competing interests

25 May 2022
Paul Tanto
ED Consultant
London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust
Northwick Park Hospital, Watford Road, Harrow, HA1 3UJ