The City of Sanctuary Movement recognises the important role played by the health services in the lives and well being of Asylum Seekers. Many arrive traumatised by the experiences from which they have fled, have had to endure difficult and life threatening journeys, 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 their needs 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. 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 a larger Sanctuary Awards initiative recently launched by the City of Sanctuary movement which is based on three core principles – learn, embed and share.
The award is applicable to any hospital, NHS Trust, Primary Care Practice or specialised service – e.g. mental health services. Wherever sanctuary seekers go we want them to feel safe and find people who welcome them and try to meet their needs.