A new tool for NHS commissioners, Guidance for commissioning health services for vulnerable migrant women, has been published by the Women’s Health and Equality Consortium (WHEC) and Maternity Action, with funding from the Department of Health.
The new guidance, which will be of interest to midwives, midwifery managers and academics, has been produced as a resource for commissioners, as Clinical Commissioning Groups take on responsibility and develop their priorities over the coming months. It aims to help commissioners to improve health and well-being outcomes among vulnerable migrant women and their families.
The guidance provides advice on identifying the migrant local populations and their health needs, with specific recommendations for effective Joint Strategic Needs Assessments. Entitlement to NHS care (and rules on charging) for different categories of migrants are explained. The guidance provides a set of principles for commissioning, and detailed advice on providing appropriate clinical services, including maternity services.
The resource also gives information on developing facilitative and support infrastructures (including information on funding mechanisms, mechanisms for service planning, and staff training), and advice on developing service infrastructures. This includes information on facilitating access to primary care, language services, and mainstream and specialist GP services.
In addition, the guidance sets out commissioners’ obligations with regard to commissioning services for vulnerable migrant women. It explains how commissioners can meet their legal obligations under the Equality Act, and how this can lead to efficiency savings through improving health outcomes for this group and their families.
Supporting the guidance are a series of good practice examples and links to useful research and resources.
A hard copy of the guidance (also free) can be obtained from Helen Beecher Bryant at Maternity Action (email firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 020 7253 2288). Hard copies of a shorter summary are also available.
Contributor: Rosalind Bragg, Director, Maternity Action
Photo Credit: Maternity Action & WHEC