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Restoring hope
  1. Mary Dawood
  1. Emergency Department, Imperial College NHS Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Ms Mary Dawood, Emergency Department, Imperial College NHS Trust, London, UK; mary.dawood{at}

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The experience of forced migration is recognised as a key determinant of health and well-being. Asylum seekers and refugees (ASRs) are among the most vulnerable and marginalised members of many societies. Since 2022, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has reported severe humanitarian disasters in Afghanistan, Africa and the Middle East—all of which have resulted in mass movement of people towards European shores. In the USA, attempts to control the movement of people from Central and South America have failed to deter desperate people seeking safety and a better life. By mid-2023, there were 110 million forcibly displaced people worldwide as a result of persecution, violence, war and human rights violations which often include torture.1 Disease, famine and climate change have compounded these factors, overall destabilising global security and placing significant pressures on societies and health systems.

Many ASRs have complex needs which most health systems will struggle to address. Access to healthcare in the UK remains free to most ASRs but barriers can arise from lack of knowledge of entitlements, language barriers, or increasingly, fear of deportation.2 There is also evidence to suggest that a lack of training and gaps in healthcare knowledge about the needs and entitlements of refugees can …

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  • Handling editor Kirsty Challen

  • X @MaryDawood89768

  • Collaborators not applicable.

  • Contributors MD is the sole author and guarantor of this paper. There are no other contributors.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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