“No one should fear accessing medical advice from our superb NHS due to an immigration reason.”

Open Letter to Public Health England and other agencies:

“As PICUM (Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants) have most recently expressed:

“Any vaccination campaign, to be effective, has to cover virtually everyone. Including #undocumented people is not only humane, it’s also public health common sense. We’re all in this together, and only together can we win this battle.”

Here is our letter:

To: michael.brodie@nhs.net ; enquiries@phe.gov.uk ; phe-pressoffice@phe.gov.uk (Michael Brodie, Chief Executive (interim) of Public Health England, an Executive Agency of the Department of Health. The Chief Executive leads the Agency and is accountable for its strategy and operations, and the effective and efficient use of public funds.)

Chair https://www.ovg.ox.ac.uk/team/andrew-pollard  https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/joint-committee-on-vaccination-and-immunisation#membership; Deputy  Anthony Harden: https://www.ovg.ox.ac.uk/about/contact-us;

UK Statutory Heath Infrastructure all of whom received the original open letter of 27th March 2020

28th December 2020

We can ensure health and safety for all

Our Open Letter to Prime Minister Johnson of 27th March 2020 calling for Status Now For All remains unacknowledged and unanswered.  Currently, in the UK, our undocumented migrant population are inhibited from interacting with public health bodies because they fear being reported/detained/deported.  This means that hundreds of thousands, perhaps over a million people in the UK are excluded from access to any vaccination programme

In the interests of both basic humanity and public health, the inclusion of our undocumented migrant population within both States’ strategies for population vaccination is essential.  As early as 23rd March, this fact was understood by UK Government representatives.  When Haltemprice and Howden MP David Davis asked Minister Kevin Foster what measures had been taken to ensure those in the country would be able to seek medical help, Kevin Foster replied: 

“No one should fear accessing medical advice from our superb NHS due to an immigration reason.”

Yes.  This is all perfectly doable. We can overcome public health inadequacies, end the endangerment of people and map out a logical and comprehensive route to health and safety for all by giving settled status or Indefinite Leave to Remain to everyone who is undocumented and in the legal process who is currently in the UK and Ireland, thereby guaranteeing access to services, without fear or retribution.

As PICUM (Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants) have most recently expressed:

Any vaccination campaign, to be effective, has to cover virtually everyone. Including #undocumented people is not only humane, it’s also public health common sense. We’re all in this together, and only together can we win this battle.”

Yours sincerely

Rogelio Brava and Shaista Iqbal

Co Chairs, Status Now Network Reference Group

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Statusnow4all 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StatusNow4All/

Website: https://statusnow4all.org


Hansard: 23.3.2020 – the link is here Topical questions:

Mr David Davis (Haltemprice and Howden) (Con)Sharethis specific contribution

We probably have more than half a million undocumented migrants in this country—people who, if they fall ill with coronavirus, might be afraid to declare themselves to the health authorities for fear of deportation. The Irish Government, who have the same issue in Ireland, have firewalled their national health service data from other parts of Government. I do not know whether that is the right answer, but will the Secretary of State look at the issue and find a similar resolution?

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Kevin Foster)

The point is well made and we will certainly look at it. No one should fear accessing medical advice from our superb NHS for an immigration reason.


See also our Status Now 4 All call on 3 December 2020 – Barriers to Accessing Vaccination: https://statusnow4all.org/barriers-to-accessing-vaccination/


Update:

See PICUM: 18 January 2021: UNDOCUMENTED PEOPLE AND THE COVID-19 VACCINES: WHAT IS EUROPE DOING?

For undocumented people, the pandemic and related lockdown measures have exacerbated pre-existing conditions of social exclusion and deprivation.

Undocumented people are at high risk of getting COVID-19, especially if they are homeless or living in cramped, precarious conditions where physical distancing is hard to impossible. Some lost their jobs because of the pandemic, while many had to keep working – frequently in sectors that have become indispensable – often without adequate protection. Being undocumented means they are unlikely to qualify for non-emergency health care or for social or income protection schemes that are keeping others hit hard by the pandemic afloat.

As COVID-19 vaccination campaigns are starting to roll out across Europe, it is crucial that undocumented people are included. [Read more]


Extract: from Independent report on Gov.uk website: Priority groups for coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination: advice from the JCVI, 30 December 2020

Advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on the groups that should be prioritised for vaccination:

Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation: advice on priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination

Introduction: This advice is provided to facilitate the development of policy on COVID19 vaccination in the UK.

[Extract] Good vaccine coverage in Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups will be the most important factor within a vaccine programme in reducing inequalities for this group. Prioritisation of persons with underlying health conditions (see above) will also provide for greater vaccination of BAME communities who are disproportionately affected by such health conditions.

The Committee’s advice is for NHS England and Improvement, the Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England and the devolved administrations to work together to ensure that inequalities are identified and addressed in implementation. This could be through culturally competent and tailored communications and flexible models of delivery, aimed at ensuring everything possible is done to promote good uptake in Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups and in groups who may experience inequalities in access to, or engagement with, healthcare services. These tailored implementation measures should be
applied across all priority groups during the vaccination programme.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/950113/jcvi-advice-on-priority-groups-for-covid-19-vaccination-30-dec-2020-revised.pdf


Updated 16 February 2021: https://statusnow4all.org/is-personal-data-of-those-seeking-access-to-nhs-services-shared-with-immigration-enforcement-authorities/