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Breaking down barriers to healthcare

Many people with migrant backgrounds face barriers getting essential care - from dealing with discriminatory practices at their local GP to being charged for life-saving surgery. We can break these barriers, by calling for a guarantee that everyone can seek the help they need.

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Changing health services

We want healthcare to be accessible for all people from refugee, migrant and asylum seeker backgrounds.

That’s why LRMN engages with local GPs and hospitals to improve practices, for example:

  • Creating safe surgeries where people are not asked about their immigration status before accessing healthcare. 
  • Providing training for people who work in healthcare, from doctors and nurses in Maternity Services, to GPs, from support staff to management teams. We work to build empathetic, trauma informed, and compassionate services.
  • Fighting against unjust charging practices for people from migrant backgrounds.
  • Educating and empowering the people we work with to fight for their healthcare rights.

Our Successes

  • In December 2020, we worked with Lewisham Citizens and St Mary’s School on a Christmas card campaign that called for an end to charging practices in the NHS.
  • LRMN was part of the Inquiry Panel investigating overseas charging at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust. A report was published in summer 2021 that outlined 39 recommendations to improve charging practices. We now work to hold them accountable on these.
  • 100% of Lewisham surgeries are now Safe Surgeries, helping people from refugee, asylum seeker and migrant backgrounds to register.
  • We joined the Vaccines for All Campaign, setting up pop-up vaccine clinics so people could get vaccinated for coronavirus without facing any barriers.
  • We’re working with Lewisham and Greenwich Trust to ensure changes to charging practices to support patients who are destitute are upheld across South East London hospitals