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Refugees of all ages walking with bags

Understanding and Addressing Asylum Seekers’ Health and Well-being in Coventry and Rugby


Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group

Total value of project


Project team

Dr Simon Goodman, Dr Helen Liebling, Dr Geraldine Brady

Duration of project

April 2018 - December 2019

NHS Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust logo

Project overview

It is known that asylum seekers and refugees have specific health and wellbeing needs as the result of leaving traumatic events in their countries of origin, experiencing trauma on their journeys to Europe and due to the precarious nature of their lives once in the UK (Liebling et al., 2014). For example symptoms that meet the criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety are common amongst this group. As a result of this, this group shows high levels of self-harm and a heightened risk of suicide (e.g. Department of Health, 1999; Cohen, 2008). This group experiences a range of physical problems due to them having fled conflict, torture and/or sexual violence. Refugees and asylum seekers therefore represent particularly vulnerable groups who present complex and often challenging healthcare needs. As the UK hosts asylum seekers and refugees, with Coventry leading on the Syrian Vulnerable Persons resettlement scheme, it is therefore imperative to understand how their health and well-being needs can best be effectively and efficiently met by healthcare practitioners.

Project objectives

The aim of this project is to engage with asylum seekers, refugees living in Coventry and Rugby and healthcare practitioners working with them working with them to:

  • Identify key health care issues.
  • Explore asylum seekers’ and refugees’ experiences of accessing and receiving healthcare.
  • Identify implications for practice and make recommendations based on research evidence.
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