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May 08, 2024

Secret Shopper action for Safe Surgeries in Lewisham!

Following last year’s success of our Secret Shopper action, we returned once again this year to cover all GPs in the entire borough of Lewisham!

Healthcare is a universal right.
Lewisham has publicly committed to being a Borough of Sanctuary, but does this promise trickle down to individual surgeries?

We visited a total of 30 GP practice sites to find out whether sanctuary seekers are able to register in line with the Safe Surgeries guidelines.

Every refugee, asylum seeker, and migrant should be able to register with a GP without proof of address or ID, have access to interpreters, and be able to use a physical form if preferred. 

Here’s what we’ve found:
  • 30% of surgeries displayed Safe Surgeries posters 
  • 37% asked for proof of ID
  • 40% asked for proof of address
  • 30% did not provide a physical sign-up form
  • 90% confirmed interpreters would be present for appointments
  • 70% confirmed immigration status would not be asked

Many surgeries did great, which is a testament to the hard work the healthcare team, Council and sanctuary organisations have put into building Safe Surgeries.

Unfortunately, some surgeries did not pass the test, with 9 surgery sites receiving a score of under 3 out of 5.

We have submitted our findings to the Council so that every GP in Lewisham is on their path to become a Safe Surgery for sanctuary seekers. And we will be back next year to check in on the progress!