Service evaluation of the English Refugee Health Information System: considerations and recommendations for effective resettlement

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

September 30, 2021


Since 2015, the UK has resettled over 25,000 refugees. To support resettlement and integration, refugees undergo a pre-arrival medical health assessment (MHA), which is used for healthcare planning by local government in England. This study aimed to understand the utility and effectiveness of the MHA and flow of data to support resettlement planning. Seven local government representatives were interviewed regarding their experiences and perceptions of the refugee health information system (HIS) and the MHA for resettlement in England. Data was analyzed using thematic analysis. The three themes indicated that the HIS was perceived to be effective, however, issues on governance, timeliness of information and access were identified. Findings showed that for the MHA to be more useful for planning, assessments for mental health issues and child special educational needs (SEN) are needed. Findings also indicated resettlement promoted joint working and acceptability of refugee resettlement. In areas where data sharing and governance processes are well defined, the HIS is effective and the MHA supports resettlement. National agencies should put structures in place to support timely health information flow.

Published in

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health


Volume: 18






Open Access

© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (



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