Putting migrant voices at the heart of our organisation
Published 14th June 2021
This Refugee Week, Doctors of the World are introducing the members of its National Health Advisors, an advisory group of people with lived experience of migration and healthcare exclusion, to ensure migrants have a greater influence over healthcare policy and practice.
Migrants with lived experience of healthcare exclusion know best the impact of policies and services that affect and are available to them. Their voices and insights should be at the centre of changing attitudes among the general public, making well-informed decisions, ensuring services are inclusive, and driving sustainable policy change in healthcare.
The launch of the National Health Advisors aligns with our strategic objective to “strengthen our movement with greater numbers of healthcare professionals, activists and service users who together support and set the direction of the organisation”. In line with this objective, our approach will be to “work hand-in-hand with those benefiting from our services, advocacy or activism”.
National Health Advisors work as an equal partner in the project, bringing their voices, views and insights to DOTW’s services, policy influencing and strategic engagement work, media, and campaigns.
Some key achievements of the National Health Advisors since it started in 2020, include:
- Developing and delivering a training module on the right to healthcare for migrant groups.
- In the first 10 months, the National Health Advisors co-produced a training module and delivered nine sessions to 111 migrants.
- Engaging with DOTW teams, NHS England and Public Health England.
- In the first 10 months, the National Health Advisors attended 10 external meetings and 13 contributions in different formats done; for example, speaking at NHS England-led webinars and conferences about effective communication and meaningful engagement between health professionals and migrant patients, and joining a focus groups with Public Health England and NHS England to shape COVID-19 guidance and to modernise GP registration.
- Joining recruitment panels and supporting the inclusive employment of new staff.
- Speaking to the media about challenges accessing healthcare during COVID-19.
- Steering the Hands Up for Our Health coalition campaign to promote access to healthcare for migrants.
- Contributing to research reports: