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NHS issues guidance for primary care nurses treating people fleeing Ukraine war

NHS issues guidance for primary care nurses treating people fleeing Ukraine war


Updated guidance on providing healthcare to people coming from Ukraine has been issued to primary care health nurses and other professionals, along with a reminder that proof of ID is not needed to register with a practice.

In a primary care bulletin last week, NHS England said the NHS was starting to see citizens returning from Ukraine as well as refugees. For many, their first port of call with the health service would be through general practice, it said.

New arrivals would need help on how to access the NHS and ‘may struggle to provide proof of ID, address or confirmation of immigration status’, it added.

Registration requests with general practice should be handled sensitively, it continued.

‘None of these documents are required for registration and the inability of any individual to provide them is no reason to refuse registration’, the bulletin added.

Updated guidance from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities lists the factors to consider when treating patients arriving from Ukraine including:

  • Screening all new entrants, including children, for tuberculosis
  • Look for hepatitis B risk factors that may indicate a need for screening (due to low prevalance)
  • Consider screening for hepatitis C (considerably higher prevalence than the UK)
  • That there is a risk of typhoid infection
  • Consider nutritional and metabolic concerns and be alert to the possibility of anaemia in newly arrived migrants
  • Work with a professional interpreter where language barriers are present
  • Consider the impacts of culture, religion and gender on health
  • Assess for mental health (and trauma) conditions
  • Support individuals and ensure that all patients, especially children, are up-to-date with the UK immunisation schedule, including offering Covid vaccination (primary course, boosters, or completion of initial course if begun overseas)
  • Refer pregnant women to antenatal care

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