Health and Wellbeing

Health Services

You will need to identify a GP, Dentist, Opticians and Pharmacies for the family.

Search for these services in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland

If you are applying before you have secured a house, you may not know which services are closest. You can explain in your application that you will find a GP once you know where the house is.

But you can still start to research the registration process, which will be similar for all surgeries.

When you are matched with a family, you will receive very detailed and confidential information about their medical history. It may be useful to have someone on your team who has medical knowledge - they can advise what services the family will need to access when they arrive - and in some cases you may be able to prepare specific appointments in advance.

The family will also be provided with their Migration Health Assessment in a sealed envelope, which they are encouraged to pass onto their GP.

Registering with a GP Surgery

When speaking to a GP surgery, explain a little about the project as they may not have worked with resettled refugees before. Some things to consider:

  • What documentation is needed to register a new patient?
  • Is the surgery accepting new patients?
  • Will phone interpretation be provided? Be sure to remind them that this is available, and the family are entitled to free interpretation at appointments.
  • If needed, would the GP surgery help to signpost refugees to mental health services?
  • What organisations in the area can offer mental health support to refugees? Will the GP surgery be able to signpost the family to access these services if needed? You will also find it useful to research whether there are specialist services in your area.
  • Will they be able to book an appointment within one week of the family’s arrival?
  • If the BRP card is delayed, will the family still be able to register?
  • Is the surgery aware that they can claim a single payment of £2,600 per family member from the Home Office? They can find more information here in the Healthcare Funding Instruction. This is a single payment that can be claimed in the first 12 months following the refugees’ arrival in the United Kingdom.
  • If the surgery have not had refugees or asylum seekers as patients previously, direct them to the British Medical Association materials aimed at helping healthcare provider.

Dentists - What to ask:

  • What’s the registration process?
  • Are they accepting new NHS patients?
  • Does the practice offer interpretation to patients with limited English?
  • Are they good with nervous patients? (a quick internet search of reviews could be useful). It’s unlikely that the refugees you support will have had access to dental care in some years, if ever.

Health care translation:

NHS Doctors and Hospitals have a duty, and funding, to provide interpreters.

Dentists and opticians do not so you should plan to have interpreters available for these appointments in order to ensure they have informed consent for procedures.

Mental Health

Refugees are five times more likely to have mental health needs than the UK population. The family may have very specific needs, and a different cultural approach to understanding mental health issues. If possible, find services in your area that provide specialist support to refugees.

Usually referrals to NHS mental health services must be made through the GP.

Find a mapping of mental health services in England below (please note this is from 2018 and some information may be out of date)

Scottish Refugee Council have a useful online map of wellbeing services

Positive mental wellbeing requires a holistic approach, so also consider community groups that promote wellbeing, such as gardening groups, yoga classes, and sports teams. Some of the resettled children and young adults have found Kung-Fu and other martial arts a great release.

Research has shown that trampolines are also a great way for children to relieve anxiety, concentrate better, improve fitness and sleep easier.

Attached - Mapping of Mental Health Services for Refugees

Attached - Five Steps to Wellbeing in Arabic

If you are using our template Community Sponsorship Plan, you could add this information to the Directory of Services.

Filling out the Application Form: GP Registration

1.5h. Have your group identified GP surgeries with capacity to register new patients close to where the resettled family will live?


 No (please research GP surgeries with capacity to register new patients).

1.5i. Please confirm that your group will arrange to register the resettled family with a local GP within one week of arrival?

Please note that this is an essential requirement as set out in the Statement of Requirements.



If no, please explain why this will not be possible      

1.5j. What research has your group conducted to provide guidance to the resettled family about accessing other health services such as dental services and local mental health or wellbeing services?    

EXAMPLE ANSWER: We will always encourage and refer any family member to seek advice from a GP, who can refer them to relevant mental health services.

We will signpost the family to various activities and organisations locally, such as:

(Add here – for example ---- Wellbeing Centre, mental health charities (e.g. MIND), holistic support (e.g. Gardening groups, Yoga), Refugee charities, Parent support groups, etc.)

We will identified a local dentist that has spaces, and will support them to register on arrival. We will also also support them to register and attend appointments with Opticians.

We have informed the GP surgery that they can claim a single payment of £2,600 per family member from the Home Office:


Reset - Accessing Healthcare.pdf
Complete and Continue