Explaining the NHS

Many migrants will come from countries with very different health care systems to the UK. It will almost certainly be helpful to explain to new patients how the NHS operates and explore with them how this compares to the healthcare system that they've been used to.

Useful resources

An introduction to the NHS [external link] (Department of Health leaflet for asylum seekers) available in over 40 languages

How can I get medical help in London? [external link] is a booklet produced as part of the Mayor of London's integration strategy for refugees and migrants. It provides an easy to follow guide to accessing primary health care in the captial and is available to download in English and 19 community languages.

Good practice guide in accessing health [external link] translated NHS factcards in several languages

Health Rights Information Scotland has produced information about overseas visitors' health rights in Scotland [external link]. The factsheets tell workers, students, asylum seekers and refugees, former residents, UK passport holders, pensioners living abroad and holidaymakers from overseas about the NHS services they can expect to receive in Scotland.

Questions to ask: getting the most out of your appointment [external link] (Department of Health information leaflet) available in English, Arabic, Bengali, French, Gujarati, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Somali, Spanish, Urdu

Videos about how to use the NHS in England have been produced by the BHA and are available on youtube in English, Arabic, Cantonese, Farsi/Dari, French, Kurdish, Mandarin, Polish, Somali, Sylheti and Urdu.   

Other useful links

PALS-Patient Advice and Liaison Service [external link]  

NHS Direct [external link] as first line for advice including access to interpreters

NHS Choices [external link] for advice and information about health issues

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