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A Qualitative Evaluation of a Health Access Card for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in a City in Northern England

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Malcolm Moffat, Dr Jo Darke, Melissa Brown, Dr Sarah SowdenORCiD, Professor Judith Rankin



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2023 by the authors. Refugees and asylum seekers residing in the UK face multiple barriers to accessing healthcare. A Health Access Card information resource was launched in Newcastle upon Tyne in 2019 by Newcastle City Council, intended to guide refugees and asylum seekers living in the city, and the professional organisations that support them, to appropriate healthcare services provided locally. The aim of this qualitative evaluation was to explore service user and professional experiences of healthcare access and utilisation in Newcastle and perspectives on the Health Access Card. Eleven semi-structured interviews took place between February 2020 and March 2021. Participants provided diverse and compelling accounts of healthcare experiences and described cultural, financial and institutional barriers to care. Opportunities to improve healthcare access for these population groups included offering more bespoke support, additional language support, delivering training and education to healthcare professionals and reviewing the local support landscape to maximise the impact of collaboration and cross-sector working. Opportunities to improve the Health Access Card were also described, and these included providing translated versions and exploring the possibility of developing an accompanying digital resource.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Moffat M, Nicholson S, Darke J, Brown M, Minto S, Sowden S, Rankin J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Year: 2023

Volume: 20

Issue: 2

Online publication date: 12/01/2023

Acceptance date: 10/01/2023

Date deposited: 06/02/2023

ISSN (print): 1661-7827

ISSN (electronic): 1660-4601

Publisher: MDPI AG


DOI: 10.3390/ijerph20021429

PubMed id: 36674184


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