1. Registering with a G.P.
Visitors should ensure that their client is registered with a GP. This is not, contrary to what we thought, the responsibility of the manager of Ready Homes, the NASS accommodation provider. Pam Campbell of Homeless Health has informed us that some asylum seekers are having difficulty registering as GP’s receptionists are confused by conflicting advice about what paper work to demand. This should no longer be a problem but, if a client still has difficulty registering, contact Pam Campbell and they can be registered at Homeless Health.
2. Charges for hospital treatment.
Refused asylum seekers, unless they have submitted a fresh claim, are not entitled to free hospital treatment. However immediately necessary or urgent medical treatment should never be denied but bills will be sent afterwards. In recent cases where refused asylum seekers have been billed SWVG has been fortunate in getting these charges ‘written off as uncollectable’. It was made clear to us that this should not establish a precedent, but we would be hopeful of being able to achieve this for other clients in future. Pam Campbell has also offered to help and visitors should contact her if their client is referred for hospital treatment and she will try to ensure that they are not billed.
The NHS Trust is obliged to inform the Home Office of any outstanding debts or write offs.
3. The new ‘Health Levy’.
All applicants for Further Leave to Remain have to pay a health levy with a fee per person per year on top of the renewal fee.
TIPS ON HEALTH ISSUES – from Pam Campbell of the Homeless Health Team (April 2013)
1.TB Screening: This is very important for clients with possible TB symptoms – a persistent dry cough, weight loss, night sweats, coughing up blood. Make an appointment with the screening service by phoning 02380 713180.
2.GPs: Everyone has a right to a GP even if refused Leave to Remain. If there is any problem getting a GP, contact Pam on 02380 336991 or 07879 898229. In many cases it is helpful, if the client is willing, for visitors to attend medical appointments.
3.Vaccinations: Clients should ask their GPs for the Tetanus and MMR jabs if they have not already had them. If they are pregnant, or have asthma or diabetes ,they should also have autumn flu jab.
4.Interpreters: If your client has only rudimentary English, press for an interpreter. This is a ‘right’ and the GP/hospital is responsible for organising it.
HELP WITH TRANSPORT Volunteers from Communicare in Southampton can provide transport for vulnerable or needy people, for example to hospital appointments. Contact them on 02380 399962/394420.www.communicareinsouthampton.org.uk
HOMELESS HEALTHCARE TEAM: Destitute clients with no fixed address can use the Homeless Healthcare Service in Southampton, at 30 Cranbury Avenue, SO14 0LT. Tel. 02380 336991. Pamela Campbell – NurseTeam Leader email@example.com
MINOR INJURIES SERVICE: For minor injuries, there is a walk-in service at the Royal South Hants Hospital (Level B), open every day 8.00am – 9.30pm.
SOUTHAMPTON TB CENTRE: Clients with TB can obtain free medication from the TB & BCG Centre at the Outpatients Department, Level B, Royal South Hants Hospital, Brintons Terrace, Tel. 02 8082 5843. They do not need to have an HC2 certificate or HC1 form. It is important to continue TB medication without gaps and for the length of time prescribed.
Linda Huggett has the following advice for visitors with clients in hospital:
Money Patient/ relative need money for food and phoning.
Phone, charger and documents Take phone and charger and documents in case need contact with UKBA or legal rep
Staff communication If staff wear masks, it makes it very difficult to understand them or read facial expressions. Remember client may have no knowledge whatsoever of normal hospital procedures so may be scared and need things explained several times over. He/she may need support in agreeing to operation or other medical procedures.
Visiting if patient in own room, visiting hours are more relaxed but mornings are usually reserved for medical procedures. Relatives of seriously ill clients may be allowed to stay overnight and Southampton General Hospital has two hostels.
Transport If hospital transport offered, can take all day (literally) to be available.
Discharge Although staff say patient can go home, the process may be delayed while medication is prepared or further tests are done. So visitor collecting patient by car may prefer to arrive when patient has actually got down to main entrance, Client needs to have a discharge letter confirming dates of hospital stay.
Next of kin The patient might want to nominate visitor as ‘next of kin’ so visitor can get info directly from medical staff and explain in detail if necessary to patient.
NHS charges The patient may be sent a letter from local NHS trust asking her/him to complete a form about nationality/status and possible charges for cost of treatment. It asks patient to attend in person with passport but this is not essential. Client can post the form back and the hospital overseas visitors manager then seeks confirmation from UKBA about status.
An asylum seeker with an active claim will be given free primary and secondary health care.
Appointments Visitor may need to assist patient in remembering other appointments, especially medical, reporting to police, college exams etc that need to be postponed / re-arranged
Reporting If patient due to report to police station whilst in hospital, visitor will need to communicate with police about this and needs Home Office / ARC number.
NASS accommodation If client lives in NASS accommodation and is in hospital for several days, visitor will need to inform Clearsprings manager.
NASS payments In order to obtain money for period in hospital and during convalescence, you must contact Asylum Support Team. You will need patient’s NASS number or ARC number. Client needs to have obtained discharge letter from hospital when he / she leaves, to confirm dates in hospital. This will have to be faxed or posted to AST. If patient leaves hospital without such a letter it can only be obtained with difficulty from GP later. AST can send special payment token by courier and the client must be at home to sign for it. It must be cashed within five working days of receipt.
Asylum Support Team
Shearway Business Park
Tel: 01303 299054
Fax 01303 299070
Last Updated: 06/11/2023 – Next Update Due: