Improving access to and experiences of ambulance care for Eastern European migrants: a paramedic interview study

Phung, Viet-Hai, Asghar, Zahid, Matiti, Milika , Anitha, Sundari and Siriwardena, Niro (2020) Improving access to and experiences of ambulance care for Eastern European migrants: a paramedic interview study. In: 999 EMS Research Forum, 03-04 March 2020, Brighton.

Full content URL: https://www.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2020-999abs.14

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Improving access to and experiences of ambulance care for Eastern European migrants: a paramedic interview study
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Abstract

The UK has experienced significant recent immigration from Eastern Europe following European Union (EU) expansion in 2004. Lincolnshire is a predominantly rural county in the East Midlands region of the UK with a large and recently arrived Eastern European population requiring healthcare, including urgent ambulance care. The Equality Act 2010 requires public bodies such as health services to provide access to high quality healthcare, while the Equality Delivery System seeks to ensure that UK NHS organisations comply with the legislation. This study aimed to explore the perceptions and experiences of ambulance staff attending Eastern European patients in Lincolnshire. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 ambulance staff at locations across Lincolnshire. Purposive and maximum variation sampling ensured that participants were knowledgeable about Eastern European patients’ use of ambulance care and covered a range of demographic characteristics. The data were analysed using framework analysis. Difficulty in accessing professional interpreters meant that some patients relied instead on family members. Some Eastern European patients brought back foreign medication from their country of origin, which ambulance staff could not understand. It was common for patients to not be registered with GPs because they were temporarily resident, did not understand how the UK healthcare system worked or preferred to go to their home country for treatment. By not registering with GPs, patients were sometimes transported to the Emergency Department for primary care conditions. The practical recommendations for service delivery improvements may be valuable for service providers and could be incorporated into future protocols. These include: having a glossary of key terms in Eastern European languages; simple packs explaining how and when to use the ambulance service translated into different languages where necessary; encouraging patients to register with GPs; and face-to-face meetings where the ambulance service inform the Eastern European communities about how to use their services.

Keywords:Ambulance; migrant; healthcare; Europe; interview
Subjects:B Subjects allied to Medicine > B990 Subjects Allied to Medicine not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
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ID Code:40192
Deposited On:16 Dec 2020 12:12

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