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​Connecting Lewisham’s vulnerable with primary care at AFRIL

AFRIL-logo.jpg28 April and 12 May 2018 saw us continue our on-going programme of engagement work with Action for Refugees in Lewisham (AFRIL), connecting Lewisham’s community, including the vulnerable, with better primary care access. These events took place at The Salvation Army and were part of AFRIL’s Rainbow school sessions.  

Our intentions for working with groups such as AFRIL, are to continue to develop relations with individuals who may be vulnerable, or who work with groups who may be vulnerable. Providing information and signposting to enable them to have better access to primary care. This includes:
  • Provide an overview of services which people can access when they need a routine or urgent primary care appointment 
  • Gain insight into people’s recent experiences of accessing primary care in Lewisham, including registering
  • Get the views of people on what other health information would be helpful to them and to encourage peer to peer sharing of information we provide 
Having an understanding of what people’s needs were, meant we could share information about Lewisham Healthwatch (local consumer champions for health) and our Use the Right Service campaign. We also discussed the range of treatments such as self- care, getting advice or over the counter medicines from the pharmacy, telephone advice (NHS 111) and seeing a GP at your practice or the GP Extended Access (GPEA) service.    
We also shared information on external organisations, such as Doctors of the World. A charity that supports undocumented patients with healthcare and advocacy. And Healthy London Partnership’s (HLP) ‘My right to access healthcare’ cards which are to support people who may not have the documents that practices may ask for or may not have a fixed address when registering with a GP.  

Our Interim Primary Care Engagement Manager, said:
“It was great to meet the families at the Rainbow school.  Participants valued the information and discussion sessions, backed up by hard copy materials and websites. The information equipped them to provide accurate information to friends and family.”