Confidential clinic set up for Grenfell Tower survivors ‘too scared’ to seek help due to deportation fears


Doctors are setting up a confidential clinic for Grenfell Tower survivors who are “too scared” to seek medical help over fears they may be arrested or deported if they give personal details.

Volunteer medics claim some undocumented migrants and asylum seekers who lived in the tower are not coming forward to get help — even if they have serious injuries — because they fear being referred to Home Office immigration teams.

It comes despite Theresa May’s assurances that survivors and relatives of victims will not face immigration checks while accessing services.

Today volunteers from charity Doctors of the World were opening a “pop-up” outreach clinic close to the tower.

Dr Paquita de Zulueta, a GP and lecturer in public health and primary care at Imperial College, has been helping survivors in the Westway centre and said: “In a situation like this you need to remove all barriers to getting help. We’re talking about people who have lost everything — some don’t even have proper clothes.

“This fire highlights a shocking example of something widespread across the UK: vulnerable people are not getting basic healthcare because they are too afraid.”

In a Commons statement on the Grenfell fire, Mrs May said: “We will not use this tragic incident as a reason to carry out immigration checks on those involved.”

However, Doctors of the World said the Government had not provided any assurance about how an exemption would work, or whether personal details given by survivors now will be used to trace them in the months or years to come.

It has written to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and local NHS hospitals urging them to publicly state that survivors will not be subject to ID checks or hospital bills, or have their details shared with the Home Office.

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Source : http://www.standard.co.uk/news/health/confidential-clinic-set-up-for-grenfell-tower-survivors-too-scared-to-seek-help-due-to-deportation-a3576896.html

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