Migrant Health

Migration to Scotland is increasing, with migrants coming from both outside and within the European Union for work, study and family reunification. One group with particular health and health care needs are asylum seekers, refugees and undocumented or refused migrants. Such patients are likely to be in particularly marginalised situations and have particular health and access needs. (SSPC, 2018).

Evidence and evaluation

Care of asylum seekers and undocumented migrants- SSPC, 2018

This paper summarises health needs and access issues and outlines areas which could be the focus of quality improvement projects for practices caring for these populations.

Migrant health needs | Evidence search | NICE

Evidence-based information on migrant health needs of migrant patients receiving healthcare.

Cochrane systematic review- Migrant subgroup publications

The group aims to improve the health of vulnerable migrant populations by synthesizing migrant relevant evidence from all over the world and shining a light on important equity gaps in related interventions and outcomes. 

Toolkits and guidance


Is an online toolbox which allows health professionals to access factsheets, how-to-guides or browse by Topic A-Z or Country A-Z. and ask questions to other professionals.

Find out more about migrants and supporting their care in the NHS by accessing the full UK Government UK Migrant Health Guide  or selecting topics below:

Migrants and the NHS


Health topics

Assessing patients


Population estimates - ISD Scotland

Although population estimates are difficult for migration, visit the ISD Scotland website or contact your Local Intelligence Support Analyst. ISD Scotland also provides twice yearly reports on recording ethnic groups in hospital records (external website) to improve equality and diversity monitoring.

Health Inequalities Impact Assessment (HIIA) – Health Scotland  
Proposing a new plan, proposal or policy that could impact migrant care. Find out if you need to do an HIIA and get support on how to complete.

Learn from others

Experiences of primary care professionals providing healthcare to recently arrived migrants: a qualitative study - BMJ 2016
Read about the experiences of other healthcare professionals wanting to create care which suits everyone’s needs.

National programmes

Visit Health Scotland to find out more about national work for health inequalities and research priorities.



There are currently no networks for improving migrant health. If you are interested in starting one, please email hcis.pcpteam@nhs.net.

Alternatively you can submit questions topic-related questions to an online community at Migrant.Health