All individuals resettled under the Homes for Ukraine scheme have full access to all NHS services.

Accessing healthcare in the UK is likely to be quite different to accessing healthcare in Ukraine.  Although theoretically healthcare is free in Ukraine, in practice there are often significant costs associated with patients paying for medication, examinations, hospital stays etc. Please reassure your guests that there are no costs associated with them accessing NHS healthcare (including prescriptions, which will be free until they have an income).  They should feel encouraged to seek medical advice whenever required.

The structure of healthcare provision in the UK also differs from Ukraine.  The following document available both in English and Russian, provides an overview of the NHS to support your guests to understand how to access healthcare in the UK.

First steps on arrival: Registering with a GP/dental practice

Ideally, support your guests to register with a GP and dental practice soon after arrival in the UK. ID documents are NOT a requirement for registering.

If your visitor has dental needs and you are unable to find a practice accepting NHS patients contact NHS England’s Customer Contact Centre on 0300 311 2233.  NHS 111 can advise on how to access emergency dental care.

Introducing ongoing community support for children’s health:

Next steps: Supporting individuals with physical health needs

Many of your guests may have pre-existing health conditions which require ongoing monitoring/management.  The GP will be a good first point of contact to coordinate any ongoing medical care and, if necessary, referral on to secondary care.  It would be worth supporting your guest to book an initial appointment with their GP once registered.

Unless your visitor is fluent in English then use of a translator is recommended for all appointments. All GP surgeries have access to a telephone translation service so please request an extended appointment and a translator when booking appointments. Use of a family member as a translator is not recommended (unless they are the parent of a child being seen) aside from in an emergency.

The immunisation schedule in Ukraine is likely to differ from the UK and it would be worth enquiring whether they have any record of past vaccinations.  The GP practice will be able to advise whether any additional vaccines (including COVID) would be recommended.

Next steps: Supporting individuals with mental health needs/processing trauma

Some of your guests may have pre-existing mental health conditions or be struggling with their mental health directly as a result of recent events.  Mental distress can present in many different ways, including physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, weight loss etc. The GP is a good first point of contact for both adults and children who require professional mental health support.

Herts Mind Network provide a holistic mental health support service to refugees, the service is called Flourish. For more information about Flourish, including how to self refer, please click here.

Flourish can provide advice, information, onward referral and holistic support to refugees who are experiencing mental ill health, or need support with their mental wellbeing or daily challenges.

This service is available to those aged 18 and above, offering up to 10 sessions.

The Refugee Council also offers a therapeutic service for guests resettled under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Other options that can be accessed directly include:

  • School nurse/pastoral care coordinators for children once established in school.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has produced the following information sheets in both the Ukrainian and English language.

Your guest will have experienced significant trauma in having to flee their homes and country, leaving behind their homes possessions, family and friends and all that is familiar. They will have witnessed war and violence , they will need time to process what has happened to them. The impact of trauma can be displayed in multiple ways and at different times. It is important to enable them to recover in their own way in their own time and not have expectations of how they will react or how they should deal with their trauma.