The implications of migration in the provision of health services

11 November 2014

A One-day collaborative event on migrant health for health service practitioners and commissioners was organised in partnership with the West Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership in Birmingham on 11th November 2014.

Migration plays a significant role in population change at a local level. Such changes can have an important impact on the provision of health services which need to respond to the individual health, and health service expectations, of new migrant communities. Despite the increase in migration over the past 10 years and growing understanding of the phenomena (the reasons for migration, the different rights and entitlements associated with immigration status and the burden of health which migrants bring from their country of origin and/or experience in the destination context) these are not consistently incorporated into the design, commissioning and the delivery of health and wellbeing services. Similarly, the health needs of migrants and their experience of accessing health care whilst they are in the UK are not routinely incorporated into local commissioning priorities.

This event brought together researchers and professionals with knowledge of migration and migrant health, with policy makers, commissioners and providers of health and social care, to discuss the impact of migration on local populations and consider the implications for the commissioning and delivery of health services.

For the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) at the University of Oxford, the event also presented an opportunity to extend knowledge about the range of challenges and responses to migration and health in the West Midlands as well as a chance to develop knowledge exchange activities in this field.

Aims

  • To place migration and migrant health in the context of local populations
  • To provide an update on current policy and legislation that governs migrants’ access to NHS services in England
  • To promote good practice in policy development and the delivery of health and wellbeing services
  • To establish working relationships between COMPAS, health and local authority sector colleagues on migration and health.
  • To identify gaps and develop proposals for future research and practice on migration and migrant health, particularly in relation to NHS priorities and health inequalities.

Content

The first part of the day focused on the connections between migration, local population change and the implications for the planning and delivery of health services.

COMPAS researchers provided an overview of migration into the West Midlands. This was followed by an overview of the health issues and outcomes for migrant populations in the UK with a specific focus on communicable and non- communicable disease, maternal health, entitlement and access, and social determinants and life style issues.

These issues were set in the context of current health priorities and programmes, with comment from practitioners from the health sector in the West Midlands and audience responses to the presentations and panel discussion.

Afternoon roundtable sessions focused on specific issues, shared ideas and approaches that have worked or not worked and collectively explored what evidence is needed for the future.

I look forward to working further on the outcomes from the event which was uplifting for all present and provided a great networking opportunityKaren Saunders, Public Health England

COMPAS Team

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