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Vaccines and undocumented migrants

Recent research conducted by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism about access to Covid vaccines for those who are not registered with a GP practice. Their findings showed that many practices refuse to register patients that have no fixed address, no documents or an unclear immigration status. GP surgeries are required to register all patients (if their list is open to new patients) and should not turn patients away because they are lacking an address, proof of ID, or immigration status.

There is a useful resource called the Safe Surgeries toolkit which was developed by Doctors of the World, (DOTW) which aims to help practices understand all the relevant guidance and sets out recommendations that practices can adopt to reassure patients that they will not be turned away and that the practice is inclusive.

It is now more important than ever that patients are registered with a GP. By improving access to care, we can help to ensure that marginalised and excluded communities are not missed in the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out.

DOTW also offer FREE training to clinical and non-clinical NHS staff that aims to improve awareness and enables staff to better advocate for their patients.