Doctors of the World Launch #StopSharing Patient Data Campaign – Help Spread the Word
Doctors of the World has just launched its #StopSharing campaign calling on the UK government to stop using NHS patients’ personal information to track down migrants. The deal struck in January between the Home Office and NHS Digital gives the Home Office easier access to migrant patients’ information, such as addresses, and allows them to track down, arrest and deport undocumented migrants. Patient confidentiality is essential for NHS staff to be able to do their job – and yet they have not been consulted about this deal, with concerns raised by medical organisations ignored.
Support the #StopSharing campaign by sharing the petition with your networks and taking action on social media. You can also help promote the “Safe Surgeries” toolkit for healthcare professionals which gives GP practices concrete ways to defy the data-sharing deal by keeping their patients’ addresses off NHS records, including using the GP practice address as c/o address. Resources to promote the campaign are at the bottom of this email or on the DotW website.
Thousands of Asylum-Seekers and Migrants Wrongly Denied NHS Healthcare: Independent Report
The Independent has revealed that thousands of asylum seekers and migrants have been wrongly denied NHS healthcare, in some cases being refused treatment despite suffering from life-threatening conditions such as cancer and heart disease. Despite NHS guidelines that state no one should be refused urgent or immediately necessary treatment because they cannot pay, undocumented migrants with urgent care needs have been refused treatment by hospitals. In other cases, asylum-seekers who have the right to free healthcare have been wrongly charged for hospital treatment, sometimes up to thousands of pounds each. You can read the findings here.
New Fast-Track Immigration Appeal Rules Proposed
A new fast-track system to speed up immigration and asylum appeals for those in detention has been drawn up. The new rules, which if accepted would apply to failed asylum seekers and ex-offenders, could speed up about 2,000 cases every year as the time between an initial decision and conclusion of an appeal to the First-tier Tribunal would be capped at between 25 and 28 working days. The previous fast-track system was suspended in 2015 after the Court of Appeal accepted that it was unlawful due to the speed of the process and insufficient safeguards for those making appeals. Detention Action has stated, “Far from having regard for an individual’s circumstances, an arbitrary time frame for appeal has been shown to be a serious disadvantage for asylum-seekers and without strong safeguards it often means vulnerable people are not afforded the protection they need.” The plans were drawn up after a consultation on proposals which can be found here.
Country of Origin Information (COI) Update from Asylum Research Consultancy
Asylum Research Consultancy (ARC) have just published their latest ‘COI Update’ which provides you with recent publications and developments in the top refugee producing countries and also contains notifications of new Home Office country of origin publications. You can access this by visiting their site http://www.asylumresearchconsultancy.com and click on the icon ‘COI Update Vol. 146’ to access the document, or why not sign up to be added to their mailing list for future ‘COI Updates’ and other ARC publications.
Recruitment: Refugee Action looking for a Communications & Stories Officer
Refugee Action is looking for a dynamic storyteller with journalistic talents, who thrives in a fast-paced environment and has the ability to create compelling content, to join its campaigns and fundraising teams. This is a new and exciting role which will help shape and grow Refugee Action’s capacity to bring to life the experiences of refugees and people seeking asylum in the media and through organisational channels. The post will be based in Manchester and the deadline for applications is Tuesday 2 May. You can find more details here.