Published: 9 July, 2024


A migrant health service project devised to improve health outcomes for refugees and asylum seekers has been shortlisted and is a finalist at this year’s HSJ Patient Safety Awards. The awards recognise safety, culture and positive experience in patient care, celebrating achievements on a national scale.

The Migrant Health Passport, which has been shortlisted for the Improving Health Outcomes for Minority Ethnic Communities category, sets out to ensure *asylum seekers and (previously) **refugees who are housed in hotels and may be moved without notice or are awaiting housing, can access care and treatment without delay, regardless of their location. Also, the passport acts as a critical tool for healthcare professionals to communicate with each other, ensuring these vulnerable, at-risk individuals receive quality care and their safety is maintained.

Victoria Marsden, clinical services manager, said this is the second time the service has been shortlisted for this category and the team is delighted with the recognition.

“The Migrant Health Passport captures key confidential information on the asylum seekers and refugees’ health, which aims to aid continuity of care, regardless of their location,” she said.

“In numerous cases there are communication barriers, cultural differences and variations, and a perceived lack of access to services, which can present challenges on health outcomes for these individuals. Therefore, when refugees and asylum seekers move on from our care, it’s vital that we provide them with a copy of their health passport, which includes a summary of their medical history, disabilities and impairments, and their key contact information. This not only increases their confidence but serves as a critical document for clinicians to have quick access to information that may not otherwise be readily available.”

Additionally, the team has developed a risk tracker to identify and further protect these vulnerable patient groups, such as those who are pregnant, taking a number of medicines, and with multiple co-morbidities.

Victoria added: “The team is passionate about improving migrant health in the UK and is determined to ensure they do everything within their means to provide platforms that promote positive patient outcomes.”

The winners will be announced during the awards ceremony at Manchester Central, on 16 September, 2024.

*The Asylum Seeker Contingency Service has been operational since May 2022 and provides safe accommodation and a primary care health service for a cohort of people seeking refugee status in the UK, some of whom have had a very traumatic journey.

**Up until Autumn 2023, gtd healthcare’s migrant health service worked in collaboration with Manchester Health and Care Commissioning to deliver the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Programme (ARAP). ARAP offered relocation or other assistance to current and former locally employed staff in Afghanistan to reflect the changing situation in the country. A large cohort of Afghan people were housed in bridging hotels in Manchester whereby the Afghan people were temporarily housed, until more stable arrangements were made. However, the government ended its bridging contracts with all bridging hotels and the migrant health service supported Afghans to find new accommodation.