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Assessing asylum seekers, refugees and undocumented migrants

Prof Cornelius Katona
Lauren Z. Waterman, Cara Katona
BJPsych Bulletin, Cambridge University Press


Identifying the causes of psychiatric and physical symptoms in asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants and making definitive diagnoses can be challenging. Ethical and legal challenges in the UK include the likely deterrent effects of upfront charging for National Health Service (NHS) services. This paper focuses on the fictitious case of an asylum seeker presenting to a mental health service in England, highlighting some of the difficulties in assessing and treating this patient group and providing advice to clinicians on clinical and practical management. Current NHS entitlements for migrants are summarised and a list is presented in the online supplement of non-governmental organisations that can provide further support.