Understanding how Eastern European migrants use and experience UK health services: a systematic scoping review

Phung, Viet-Hai, Asghar, Zahid, Matiti, Milika and Siriwardena, Niro (2020) Understanding how Eastern European migrants use and experience UK health services: a systematic scoping review. BMC Health Services Research, 20 (173). pp. 1-10. ISSN 1472-6963

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-020-4987-z

Understanding how Eastern European migrants use and experience UK health services: a systematic scoping review
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Item Type:Article
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Background: The UK has experienced significant immigration from Eastern Europe following European Union (EU)
expansion in 2004, which raises the importance of equity and equality for the recent immigrants. Previous research
on ethnic health inequalities focused on established minority ethnic groups, whereas Eastern European migrants
are a growing, but relatively under-researched group. We aimed to conduct a systematic scoping review of
published literature on Eastern European migrants’ use and experiences of UK health services.
Methods: An initial search of nine databases produced 5997 relevant publications. Removing duplicates reduced
the figure to 2198. Title and abstract screening left 73 publications. Full-text screening narrowed this down further
to 10 articles, with three more from these publications to leave 13 included publications. We assessed publications
for quality, extracted data and undertook a narrative synthesis.
Results: The included publications most commonly studied sexual health and family planning services. For Eastern
European migrants in the UK, the most commonly cited barriers to accessing and using healthcare were limited
understanding of how the system worked and language difficulties. It was also common for migrants to return to
their home country to a healthcare system they were familiar with, free from language barriers. Familial and social
networks were valuable for patients with a limited command of English in the absence of suitable and available
interpreting and translating services.
Conclusions: To address limited understanding of the healthcare system and the English language, the NHS could
produce information in all the Eastern European languages about how it operates. Adding nationality to the
Electronic Patient Report Form (EPRF) may reveal the demand for interpretation and translation services. Eastern
European migrants need to be encouraged to register with GPs to reduce A&E attendance for primary care
conditions. Many of the issues raised will be relevant to other European countries since the long-term outcomes
from Brexit are likely to influence the level of Eastern European and non-Eastern European migration across the
continent, not just the UK.

Keywords:Eastern Europe, Migrant, Healthcare, Scoping review
Subjects:B Subjects allied to Medicine > B990 Subjects Allied to Medicine not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
ID Code:40183
Deposited On:11 Mar 2020 10:51

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