Register with a GP
1 in 5 Latin Americans in the UK have never accessed the NHS.
One in five Latin Americans in the UK are not registered with a General Practitioner (GP) and have never sought medical attention in the UK. Only four out of ten have been to the dentist in the UK (“No Longer Invisible” 2011). As CLAUK member organisations provide services to the most vulnerable sectors in the community, the picture we see is much more alarming.
A random survey carried out in 2014 with CLAUK members’ service users showed that 46% were not registered with a GP. Out of those, 50% indicated having no knowledge of the need to register, and 14% claimed that they were unable to register due to the encountered language barrier. Follow ups often showed that a significant number had attempted to access but were rejected by front line service staff who were uncertain of their entitlement.
As GPs are the first point of contact for most medical needs and the main point of access to specialist services, this situation calls for urgent action.
Our “Register with the GP” campaign aims to improve access to primary care among Latin Americans by raising awareness among the community about the importance of registering with a GP. We work collaboratively to provide information about entitlements and regulations, as well as to support people who have not been able to previously register to do so successfully.
This campaign also informs health service providers, researchers, and relevant public bodies about the presence and health needs of the Latin American community.