migrant.health: an online tool for GPs supporting new migrants in primary health care

University of Sheffield

This project was funded between April 2017 and July 2018.

  • Led by a team at the School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield, in partnership with Doctors of the World (DOTW) UK and the tech firm Yoomee.
  • Aimed to help practitioners and non-clinical staff in GP practices promote and improve the health of new migrants.
  • Turned research findings into a user-centred, practical online resource that can be used to help adapt primary care services to meet the needs of new migrants.

New migrants to the UK can have a broad range of social and health care needs. Health care professionals can find caring for these patients challenging, especially if they are in vulnerable circumstances. Guidance about how to improve their health and wellbeing in primary care is under-developed.

A team at the University of Sheffield’s School of Health and Related Research has studied promising innovations for enhancing equity and efficiency in primary care for new migrant populations. This project aimed to turn their findings into a practical online resource to help practitioners and non-clinical staff in GP practices deliver services that promote and improve the health of new migrants.

The project team, which included an expert non-governmental organisation and digital specialists, worked with stakeholder organisations, GPs and new migrant patients. They co-created a website tailored to the needs of primary care practices. The website incorporates factsheets providing a quick and easy overview of specific topics relevant to new migrants, health information about different countries of origin and a ‘bright ideas’ page for sharing innovations. 

A ‘how-to’ section gives advice on what to do in consultations and there is a community of practice forum for asking and answering questions.

A network of 50 primary care ‘champions’ have been engaged as user-pioneers to disseminate the tool through their NHS networks, and usage will be monitored via Google analytics and other user data.

The project team learnt about the importance of co-creation and user testing, and hope that publication of their work will contribute to a better understanding of how actionable tools can be generated in health care using the principles of user-centred design.

Contact details

Liz Such, NIHR Knowledge Mobilisation Research Fellow, University of Sheffield, e.such@sheffield.ac.uk 

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