Intended for healthcare professionals


Home Office’s use of second medical opinions to assess asylum seekers was unlawful

BMJ 2024; 384 doi: (Published 23 February 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;384:q482
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

A policy used by the Home Office to override independent medical assessments of asylum seekers in favour of those made by a government appointed doctor who may never have met the detainee has been ruled unlawful by a High Court judge.1

The judgment, issued in January, followed a challenge by the charity Medical Justice, which said that the policy was delaying decisions on whether vulnerable people should be released from detention.

The policy, introduced in June 2022, directed immigration caseworkers to delay considering external medical reports when deciding whether …

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