Health services play an important role in the lives and well being of sanctuary seekers. Many arrive traumatised from the experiences they have fled from; they may have had to endure difficult and life threatening journeys; may have lived through periods of destitution and feel all the isolation and insecurity of exile and loss of loved ones. Their culture and language sometimes makes it difficult for them to understand how the NHS works and to access the right services.

Specialised services have developed to meet the needs of sanctuary seekers, for example, Primary Care Practices specifically set up for asylum seekers. In addition, health care practitioners have tried to understand and meet the needs of this vulnerable group. This stream aims to support City of Sanctuary Groups and Health Practitioners to develop and share good practice in health care for sanctuary seekers.

City of Sanctuary wishes to recognise all elements of good practice in the field of health and social care by offering a Sanctuary Award. This award is part of the larger Sanctuary Awards initiative which is based on three core principles – learn, embed and share.

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