Hamid* came to Britain to study in 2006 but he feared for his safety if he returned to Pakistan. He registered with the Home Office to claim asylum after his course finished but, as the process dragged on, he started to feel extremely isolated.

Hamid started to develop severe social anxiety and depression, due to this isolation and the fear of being deported. Experiencing suicidal thoughts, as well as excruciating toothache, he finally came to Doctors of the World’s clinic in February 2016.

He was seen by Craig, a volunteer GP who tried to register him with a local GP – but this proved difficult. Alarmingly, it was the GP practice where Craig worked that was stubbornly refusing to accept Hamid, despite him being fully entitled to register there.

“My heart sank when I realised,” says Craig. “I spoke to my practice manager but, even with me fighting his corner, it was still a real battle.”

Doctors of the World issued an official complaint to NHS England and, after three months of trying, Hamid was finally registered with the surgery. As a result, Craig became Hamid’s GP and saw him regularly. Hamid was granted refugee status in February 2017.

“Things are brilliant now,” says Hamid. “My mental health is improving every day and I’m in a much better place. I look forward to completing a master’s degree and getting my life back.”

*Name has been changed