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NHS issues guidance for GPs treating people fleeing Ukraine war


People fleeing Ukraine sign up with GPs


Updated guidance on providing healthcare to people coming from Ukraine has been issued to GPs along with a reminder that proof of ID is not needed to register with a practice.

In a primary care bulletin, NHS England said the NHS was starting to see citizens returning from Ukraine as well as refugees and that for many their first port of call with the health service would be through general practice.

NHS England said that newly-arrived individuals would need help on how to access the NHS and ‘may struggle to provide proof of ID, address or confirmation of immigration status’.

Registration requests with GP practices should be handled sensitively, it continued.

‘None of these documents are required for registration and the inability of any individual to provide them is no reason to refuse registration’, the bulletin added.

Updated guidance from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities lists the factors to consider when treating patients arriving from Ukraine including:

  • Screening all new entrants, including children, for tuberculosis
  • Look for hepatitis B risk factors that may indicate a need for screening (due to low prevalance)
  • Consider screening for hepatitis C (considerably higher prevalence than the UK)
  • That there is a risk of typhoid infection
  • Consider nutritional and metabolic concerns and be alert to the possibility of anaemia in newly arrived migrants
  • Work with a professional interpreter where language barriers are present
  • Consider the impacts of culture, religion and gender on health
  • Assess for mental health (and trauma) conditions
  • Support individuals and ensure that all patients, especially children, are up-to-date with the UK immunisation schedule, including offering Covid vaccination (primary course, boosters, or completion of initial course if begun overseas)
  • Refer pregnant women to antenatal care

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READERS' COMMENTS [2]

David Church 14 March, 2022 10:42 am

I would agree that official documents should not be a ‘requirement’, but I would suggest that any written document with their address on, and name and dob (maybe a separate document) would be a sensible request from any GP wishing to register them : We cannot spell Ukrainians names and dates of birth, and Ukrainians cannot spell local addresses, and to do it all verbally would be highly risky !

Katharine Morrison 14 March, 2022 6:10 pm

So each patient will need about one hour for the relevant information, examinations and blood tests to be done, and would need an interpreter, who would also have to assist with documentation.