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Hands up for our Health New Campaign Resources

As members of the Hands up for our Health coalition, CoS UK is excited to share with the wider CoS networks the new campaign resources and urge supporters, groups and organisations to support this important work. 

As the pieces in the Bureau of Investigative JournalismThe Independent and Channel 4 demonstrate, too many people in our communities are still denied the possibility of registering with their local GP practice.  This is why we have always promoted the Safe Surgeries work of Doctors of the World. 

See this video from a recent Channel 4 News item:

GP surgeries wrongfully rejecting undocumented migrants, leaving many unable to get Covid jab

The  coalition campaign thank The Voice of Domestic Workers for their vital support to the C4 piece.

Key findings 

  • The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has found that less than a quarter of all GP surgeries (24%) that it surveyed in cities across England, Scotland and Wales would register someone without proof of address or identity.  
  • Of the remaining, almost two-thirds (62%) said they would not register the patient, while an additional 14% said they were unsure if they could. 
  • Being refused GP registration removes the option of being vaccinated by a surgery, and the option to book a vaccine appointment via the NHS website or 119 helpline.  
  • This not only raises questions regarding the efficacy of the vaccine roll-out, but increases the risks for a group that is already more likely to die from Covid-19.  

These welcome media pieces reflect the long standing barriers placed in front of people when trying to register with a GP and also the challenges that many organisations and individuals have  highlighted over the last 7 months as they work to support the vaccination roll out.  

See also this article in The Independent from Afzal Khan MP with Matteo Besana from Doctors of the World’s team on the importance of Safe Surgeries and the great examples of Manchester, which has massively increased the number of Safe Surgeries in the city. See also our Facilitated Conversation on the Health Stream of Sanctuary  with Yusuf Ciftci on this topic, and contact us if you want help building Safe Surgeries in your town , borough or city.  

Actions you can take:  

With this in mind we ask  all our supporters to Stand up for medical care for everyone !  

Write to your MP and Councillor calling on them to: 

  • Work with their local councils and Clinical Commissioning Groups to provide open access vaccination sites that do not request identity documents or an NHS number 
  • Encourage every GP practice in their constituencies to join the Safe Surgeries initiative – a network of GP practices committed to providing inclusive healthcare  
  • Stand with the coalition campaign us to make sure that nobody in our community is denied access to the vaccination or medical care when they need it.    

Share this new animation that illustrates how: 

  • Everybody can register with a GP without the need for documentation. 
  • Outlines how to book the vaccine appointments. 

In the following weeks, the animation, which is hosted on the Doctors of the World website  will be available in 23 languages.  Please use and share the useful resource.  

Hands Up For Our Health Social media pack to help promote the campaign.  This useful resource has some suggested posts and images to help CoS groups and supporters promote the campaign actions.