A safe space? Supporting mobile and marginalised populations within primary care

With response from Dr Yusuf Ciftci

Keynote Lecture, Workshop 3 ‘Healthcare on the Move: Future Directions’

23 September 2021 @ 16:00 BST



Primary care is the cornerstone of many health care systems, particularly in high income countries. Primary care offers co-ordinated and continuous care and is often the gate keeper to other parts of the health system. Long-term relationships between patients and health care providers ideally offer a safe and confidential space where health issues can be discussed, care offered and accepted. Often these transactional and emotional journeys are completed with little consideration about how wider societal discourses about rights, entitlement and deservingness can shape these journeys. When health literacy and communication challenges are layered onto these interactions, it is little wonder that – for some – journeys through care are inherently problematic.

Drawing on research conducted in Scotland and in Europe, Professor O’Donnell will reflect on the challenges that face mobile and marginalised populations when accessing care and primary care professionals providing care. She will also consider how changes to primary care during the COVID-19 pandemic are making that even more challenging. In presenting this body of work, she will ask us to reflect on whether primary care is a safe space for such patients and, if not, what do providers and policy makers need to address in order to improve the situation.

About the Speakers

Professor Kate O’Donnell is Professor of Primary Care Research and Development in General Practice and Primary Care, and Deputy Director of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow.  Professor O’Donnell’s research interests are wide-ranging, covering the organisation and delivery of primary care services including evaluation of primary care policy into practice. A particular focus of her work is the organisation of primary care services for marginalised groups. In this regard, Professor O’Donnell has researched extensively in the field of migrant health, with particular attention to the role of language and communication in cross-cultural communication in primary care. Professor O’Donnell has worked on a number of European projects and has advised the Scottish Government as a member of the Evidence Group for the New Scots 2 Integration Strategy.

Dr Yusuf Ciftci is a Policy and Advocacy Manager at Doctors of the World UK, part of the Médecins du Monde network. He leads coproduction work with people with lived experience of health exclusion and immigration in the UK, alongside coordinating policy programmes including the Safe Surgeries Initiative to ensure inclusive access to healthcare for asylum seekers, refugees and marginalised migrant groups. His PhD focused on formulation of asylum policy, and he contributed to several publications on migrant health. Yusuf also campaigns to improve UK asylum and immigration system through his lived experience.