ICIBI: Second annual inspection of ‘Adults at risk in immigration detention’

This report from ICIBI links well to the report of 24 November 2021: BBC – Brook House detention centre whistleblower ‘abuse’ inquiry begins – see that and other information about the Brook House Inquiry below

21 October 2021: Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration – ICIBI Report Published: Second Annual Inspection of ‘Adults at risk in immigration detention’ July 2020 to March 2021

This inspection found that work to address shortcomings in the Home Office’s policy and procedures for identifying and safeguarding vulnerable detainees was moving at an unacceptably slow pace. Though seven of the eight recommendations made in ICIBI’s first annual inspection were accepted in full or in part, none of these had been closed by January 2021.

Continue reading “ICIBI: Second annual inspection of ‘Adults at risk in immigration detention’”

Barriers to Wellbeing

Updated 23 November 2021: Guardian: System for assessing who must pay for NHS care ‘incentivises racial profiling’

Study criticises stringent charging regime introduced by NHS England over the past decade

The system for assessing who should be asked to pay for NHS services “incentivises racial profiling”, an investigation has found.

A study by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) found that overstretched NHS staff sometimes racially profiled patients in order to determine who was not “ordinarily resident” in the UK, and therefore must pay for their care.

The report is critical of the more stringent charging regime introduced by NHS England over the past decade as part of a series of measures devised to create a hostile environment for people living in the UK without the correct immigration status. NHS trusts have appointed overseas visitors officers, responsible for identifying chargeable patients, as part of a cost recovery programme launched in 2014.

One of the officers told the IPPR study they had felt forced to discriminate between patients based on their name. “If you’ve got a, I don’t know, Mohammed Khan and a Fred Cooper, you’re obviously going to go for [investigating] the Mohammed Khan … Even for someone who’s, you know, well I’d like to think hopefully open-minded, like myself, you’re just trying to save yourself time because there’s not enough hours in the day,” the officer said.

Continue reading “Barriers to Wellbeing”

COVID-19 has also laid bare existing fault lines within society and has exacerbated inequalities.

Updated 11 November 2021: Kanlungan Filipino Consortium@kanlunganuk From today, care home workers must prove they are double jabbed through the NHS COVID pass but for people who don’t have a GP or NHS number, this will be impossible. Our Advocacy and Campaigns Officer explains here why barriers to healthcare for migrants must be removed (South East London BBC News)

NEON@NEON_UK · : We really need to focus on making sure that health care is accessible to all in this country, especially in the pandemic. It’s just another example of how the government’s immigration policy makes no sense from a public health perspective. @FrancescaHumi on @BBCNews today.

Continue reading “COVID-19 has also laid bare existing fault lines within society and has exacerbated inequalities.”

Is personal data of those seeking access to NHS services shared with immigration enforcement authorities.

Updated 20 October 2021: The Information Commissioners Office has commented recently about The Data Sharing Code of Practice, which is a statutory code made under section 121 of the Data Protection Act 2018 that was first published by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in December 2020 and came into force on 5 October 2021 saying that “data sharing must engender trust in how personal data is used in order to drive innovation, economic growth and the delivery of more efficient and targeted services.

In the ICO’s view, data sharing will be central to the United Kingdom’s recovery from the covid-19 pandemic.”

Status Now notes that the absence of firewall between health and immigration data and the Government’s drive to implement its ‘status checking’ project undermines any potential for engendering trust.

https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-sharing-information-hub/

Continue reading “Is personal data of those seeking access to NHS services shared with immigration enforcement authorities.”

Access to healthcare at the point of need?

Updated 24 September 2021: Bare Life films: NHS Borderlands – An investigative documentary into the human cost of charging migrants for accessing the NHS

After fleeing persecution in Zimbabwe in fear for her life, Angela sought asylum in the UK where she has lived with her husband for 20 years. Following a vital hysterectomy operation Angela is – without warning – issued a bill for £8,000 by the NHS, jeopardizing her life in the UK forever. Angela’s story exposes the real cost of the recent introduction of NHS charges for migrants, where discrimination undermines our society’s commitment to universal healthcare. The most vulnerable are left unable to pay and scared to seek care. There are many stories like Angela’s, most untold and undocumented. This film documents how healthcare workers and campaigners are fighting alongside Angela to keep the border out of hospitals.

Contact Bare Life films for more information:

About Bare Life films:

Continue reading “Access to healthcare at the point of need?”

Justice for Simba: Carnival of Resistance to the Hostile Environment in the NHS

Event organised by SNN signatories: Docs Not CopsMedact ,Migrants Organise, and also Justice for Simba🎉✊🏿🏥 Justice for Simba: Carnival of Resistance to the Hostile Environment in the NHS 📅✊🏿🎉 Sat 18th September ✨ Join the action in solidarity!

On 18th September, the Justice for Simba campaign are hosting a carnival of resistance to the Hostile Environment in the NHS, taking place in Sheffield. Join us to take action in solidarity against racist immigration policies in healthcare – wherever you are!

Meet at 2pm, Devonshire Green! There will be music, dancing, speeches, and a spirit of solidarity and resistance to hostile and cruel immigration policies! We will then hand in Simba’s petition to Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

👉🏾 Here’s what you need to do! 👈🏾
⭐️ Sign and share Simba’s petition on your social media and with your friends and colleagues – we want to hit 70,000 signatures to hand in! http://change.org/justiceforsimba
⭐️ Spread the word https://linktr.ee/JusticeForSimba
⭐️ Print and share Simba’s poster! So we can share pics on the day https://tinyurl.com/SimbaPosters

Our friend Simba has been charged over £100,000 for his life-saving treatment following a stroke — all because of his immigration status. Two years on, Simba is fighting for his recovery but Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is still chasing him for payment.

Continue reading “Justice for Simba: Carnival of Resistance to the Hostile Environment in the NHS”

Scores of GP surgeries that wrongly refuse to register undocumented migrants rated ‘good’ by CQC

4 September 2021: Independent: Exclusive: Scores of GP surgeries that wrongly refuse to register undocumented migrants rated ‘good’ by CQC

Failure by watchdog to ‘properly scrutinise’ GP registration processes will mean vulnerable people continue to be denied medical care in breach of NHS guidance, health campaigners warn

Scores of GP surgeries are rated “good” by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for the care they provide to vulnerable people despite wrongly refusing to register undocumented migrants, new analysis shows.

Health campaigners have raised concerns about the “lack of proper scrutiny” of GP practices that decline to register people because they cannot show ID or proof of address, 

Read more: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/gp-surgeries-undocumented-migrants-healthcare-uk-b1912319.html

Living Precariously or Health and Safety for All – a call for Indefinite Leave to Remain now

29 August 2021: StatusNow4All: Living Precariously or Health and Safety for All – a call for Indefinite Leave to Remain now

The asylum system is broken: there is a backlog of around 70,000 asylum applications which the newly arriving current Afghan applicants are expected to join. On 16 August 2021 the Home Office suspended its decision-making processes relating to asylum applications made by people from Afghanistan by withdrawing that country’s policy and guidance.  It is a gross miscarriage of natural justice to suspend legal process for those waiting for decisions or appeal hearings or in detention when a simple decision could immediately be put into effect – a grant of Indefinite Leave to Remain. 

This is why StatusNow4All calls for ALL those who do not have settled status to be given Leave to Remain. It is imperative for the Government to exercise its authority immediately by granting Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and the right of access to Family Reunion as a matter of urgency to all people from Afghanistan who are currently in the UK. With political will, this can be done: nothing less than ILR will give people equitable access to healthcare, housing and food. 

Continue reading “Living Precariously or Health and Safety for All – a call for Indefinite Leave to Remain now”

‘My life is frozen’

From StatusNow signatory Jesuit Refugee Service: ‘My life is frozen’ – life in limbo for people seeking asylum

The impact of having their lives put on hold is devastating for refugee friends

This week the Independent published a special report looking at the lives of people seeking asylum, who are forced to live in limbo. As they spend years waiting on a decision to be made on their asylum claim, they live in great uncertainty, banned from working, and at risk of exploitation and abuse. These stories echo the harrowing experiences of the friends of JRS who are battling this hostile system, which is founded on suspicion. As they desperately seek to be recognised as refugees, they struggle to survive.

Data shows over 1,200 people seeking asylum currently in the system, have waited more than five years, with 399 more than a decade.

Continue reading “‘My life is frozen’”

Home Office breached article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights

30 July 2021: Guardian: Home Office failed to put in place system to protect detainees with HIV

High court judge issues ruling after man was denied antiretroviral medication for four days

The Home Office failed to put in place systems to protect detainees with HIV, a high court judge has ruled, after a man was denied lifesaving medication for four days.

The landmark ruling found that in failing to adequately care for people with HIV the Home Office breached article 3 of the European convention of human rights, which protects against inhuman and degrading treatment.

Read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/jul/30/home-office-failed-put-in-place-system-protect-detainees-with-hiv

Rising Calls for Health and Safety 4 ALL

StatusNow logo

19th July 2021: PRESS RELEASE: Rising Calls for Health and Safety 4 ALL
Debate in Parliament today coincides with simultaneous demonstrations

“As a health worker, I must be enabled to do my job to the best of my ability, not be confronted with this abuse and distress and trauma and expected to keep on working, keep on raising my children safety, while my man is threatened with this great danger”. Front Line Nurse, Daisy Motlogwa

“It is incredible that we let unknown numbers of people languish without documentation, forced into the “unofficial” economy or worse. People who can work, want to work and pay taxes should be brought into the mainstream.” Tony Lloyd MP for Rochdale

Continue reading “Rising Calls for Health and Safety 4 ALL”

EDM #1442: Undocumented migrants and covid-19 vaccination

Updated below 29 June 2021

Status Now Network welcomes the support of this informal coalition of MPs who stand with us in our campaign for people who are undocumented and those in the legal process to be given Indefinite Leave to Remain/settled status:

Early Day Motion 1442 tabled on 3 February 2021: Undocumented migrants and covid-19 vaccination

Motion text: That this House believes that access to essential healthcare is a universal human right; regrets the continued existence of structural, institutional and systemic barriers in accessing NHS care experienced by undocumented migrants and those awaiting determination of their asylum, visa and immigration applications; considers that an effective public health response to the covid-19 crisis requires that the most vulnerable can afford to access food, healthcare, and self-isolate where necessary; understands that some of the most vulnerable people in society will not access vaccination against the virus, since to disclose their identity to the authorities would risk their arrest, detention and deportation; fears that without urgent Government intervention this will lead to further avoidable premature deaths, especially in the African, Asian and Minority Ethnic population; and therefore calls on the Home Office to grant everyone currently in the UK at this time who are undocumented migrants and those awaiting determination of their asylum, visa and immigration applications indefinite leave to remain, and to be eligible in due course to receive the covid-19 vaccination.

Brought by Claudia Webbe, MP for Leicester East

Continue reading “EDM #1442: Undocumented migrants and covid-19 vaccination”

Releasing resilience and building networks of resilience report

JUNE 2021: This is a piece of collaborative work by three StatusNow4All signatories: Migrant Voice, Kanlungan, and RAPAR. The latest report ‘Releasing resilience and building networks of resilience: learning from the survey, interviews, and evaluation‘ is now available – see details below

Among the survey findings, 80% of respondents were worried about their financial situation during the pandemic, and about being able to afford food and other items that they might need. In addition, half of all respondents said they were unable to afford hand sanitiser, face masks, soap or cleaning products.

The Building Resilience project provided spaces for migrants with limited immigration status and no recourse to public funds to discuss shared experiences throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and form networks of solidarity.

‘Networks of resilience are important and meaningful. And for as long as the UK’s hostile
environment remains in place, individuals from the most marginalised and isolated
communities who make up networks of resilience will be compelled to continue to find ways to release and build resiliences through which they search out pathways to status and better access to basic rights.’

Read the full report here.

There is coverage here:

https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2021/06/12/gay-asylum-seeker-home-office-application-gabon-conversion-therapy-priti-patel/

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/migrant-who-fled-kidnap-gay-20760497

https://inews.co.uk/news/uk/i-fled-conversion-therapy-as-a-gay-man-in-gabon-now-im-living-on-less-than-6-a-day-1043226

Everyone should have access to the vaccine but this reported Vaccine ‘Amnesty’ Declaration is a Trap and Won’t Work

StatusNow logo

8 February 2021:  STOP PRESS: Everyone should have access to the vaccine but this reported Vaccine ‘Amnesty’ Declaration is a Trap and Won’t Work 

#healthandsafety4all  

  • The virus cannot be effectively tackled and people cannot be kept safe until everyone currently in the UK has equal access to housing, healthcare, food, and any vaccine, and therefore equal status 
  • Addressing the question of people’s Status in the UK is the primary need 
  • Many people who are undocumented believe that they will be reported to the immigration authorities and/or subjected to the Hostile Environment if they come forward, and therefore this policy is doomed to failure  
  • Once Government commits to Status Now 4 All, everyone currently undocumented is going to be able to come forward  
  • This is the right time for a full regularisation – if not now – when?
Continue reading “Everyone should have access to the vaccine but this reported Vaccine ‘Amnesty’ Declaration is a Trap and Won’t Work”