Health services guide for new arrivals, asylum seekers, and refugees.
This page will provide you with information which will help you settle into Solihull.
You can also access more information about the Health and Wellbeing offer in Solihull.
Healthcare in the UK is free*. However, to get healthcare you will need to register yourself and all the members of your family with your local GP practice.
You do not need proof of address or immigration status, ID or an NHS number.
To find out about all the available services, please see the How the NHS works - A guide for migrants.
You can use the NHS website to find a family doctor.
Register with a family doctor (known as a General Practitioner (or GP) in the UK
You can get an NHS registration form from the website of the local GP practice, the NHS website or by visiting a local GP practice.
Complete the form and take it to the GP practice. You will be registered and receive a formal letter from the NHS within 10 days.
On your first visit to the local GP practice, you should make an appointment for a new patient medical. You can:
- tell them about any recent illnesses
- let them know if you have any medical conditions
- explain what medicine you take and ask for more if you need it. Bring any medication you are using to the meeting
If a prescription is needed before your certificate arrives, prescription charges are payable. A receipt should be requested from the dispensing pharmacy and this money can be claimed back once your HC2 certificate arrives.
You can use health services if you have not registered with a GP. However, being registered and having an NHS number will help healthcare professionals look after you and better meet your health needs.
If you have problems registering with a GP practice, you can contact the Primary Care Contracting and Commissioning team to help you to register with a GP practice on:
- 0121 203 3347
- or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
More information can be found at birminghamsolihull.icb.nhs.uk.
Whether you need help with food, energy, financial advice or wellbeing, our Here2Help pages have some useful information and contact details for you.
My Solihull Maps
With our My Solihull map you can find places to go, things to do and people to talk or listen to in your neighbourhood.
Solihull on the Move
For information about sports and staying active visit Solihull on the Move.
You can contact Solihull Active for support accessing activities, groups and clubs via email at email@example.com.
You will be offered free care when you are pregnant and after you give birth. This is likely to be arranged through your GP.
Midwives ensure that personalised care is provided throughout a pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period.
You should contact a GP or midwife as soon as you find out you're pregnant. It's important to see a midwife or GP as early as possible to get the pregnancy (antenatal) care and information you need to have a healthy pregnancy.
You are also entitled to support from a health visitor. A health visitor is a qualified nurse or midwife who has had extra training. They will help you, your family and children up to the age of five years old to stay healthy.
Information on all you need to know about pregnancy, labour, birth and NHS maternity services can be found here:
There are also other child health services you and your family could need. Information and contact details can be found here:
- Health Visiting Team provided by South Warwickshire University NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT)
You are entitled to NHS dental care to help keep your mouth, teeth and gums free of pain.
If your tooth is painful, you should call NHS 111 for Urgent Dental Care Services. You can search for local dentists and call to make an appointment.
Costs for dental appointments depend on what treatment you are having. You can find a local dentist with the NHS.
Mental health problems can be anything from the worries we all experience as part of everyday life to serious long-term conditions.
We understand that some new arrivals have been through a very traumatic time and been exposed to a huge mental stress.
Staying mentally healthy is just as important as looking after physical health. There are Mental Health Services available throughout the country that can help you if you are struggling in the same way that NHS services support with physical symptoms. If you, or someone you love, need help this is best arranged through making an appointment with your GP. These services may be through the NHS or charity organisations.
If you are struggling but do not want to talk to a GP, there are a wide range of support organisations that offer helplines where you can talk in confidence to a trained advisor. These include:
- Birmingham and Solihull Urgent Mental Health Helpline (line managed by MIND who provide a wide range of practical and therapeutic support services for people with emotional distress).
If urgent mental health help is needed, you can ring 0121 262 3555 or 0800 915 9292 for advice and support. This line is available 24 hours, 7 days a week and can be used whether you are known to our services or not. You can also email: firstname.lastname@example.org or use their webchat service
- Solihull Mind - mental health support in the Solihull Borough
- Samaritans on 116 123 to talk to a trained volunteer
- Solihull Integrated Addiction Services for support with alcohol, drug, and gambling addictions
- Shout is a free confidential text support service 85258 from trained volunteers
- Switchboard If you identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, you can call Switchboard on 0300 330 0630 (10.00am to 10.00pm every day), email email@example.com or use their webchat service. Phone operators all identify as LGBT+.
- Barnardo’s Boloh Helpline offer advice, mental health and practical support to adult asylum seekers across the UK. The Helpline is open Monday to Friday (10.00am to 8.00pm) and Saturday (10.00am to 3.00pm) via phone 0800 151 2605, webchat and email Boloh.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Translations of Mental Health Information resources can be found at the Royal College of Psychiatrists
Sexual health is just a part of your overall physical and mental health, and it is important to look after in just the same way. You have the right to access free services that help you get information and help about your sexual health. You can speak to your GP surgery, pharmacy, or sexual health clinic.
Often the first step to looking after your sexual health is simply to find out more. The following links can help you find, good reliable sources of general sexual health information:
- NHS - general information and links
- Brook Health and Wellbeing - advice for young people under 25
- FPA: The Sexual Health Charity - focus on contraception issues
- Umbrella clinics can provide all kinds of contraception methods.
Emergency contraception is available free from your GP, some pharmacies and Umbrella clinics. Emergency contraception is more effective if used as soon as possible after having unprotected sex. If you require access to Emergency Hormonal Contraception (EHC) please use this list of pharmacies who can provide you with this in Solihull.
Safe sex and reducing risk
Sexually Transmitted infections (STI’s) and unwanted pregnancy are avoidable - you can reduce your risk by having safe sex. Safe sex means you take steps before sex and while having sex, by using condoms, not having sex when affected by alcohol or drugs, and finding out how to minimise risks for different kinds of sexual activity.
Sexual health services
Umbrella provide free, accessible and confidential sexual health services in Birmingham and Solihull, for people of all ages, genders and orientations. This includes:
- all types of contraception, including long term such as injections, coils and implants
- emergency contraception
- testing for all sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV
- treatment for STIs such as chlamydia, syphilis, herpes and gonorrhoea
- Chlamydia screening for young people aged 15 to 25
- advice about unprotected sex
- support for people sexually exploited or abused
- pregnancy testing and referral for termination
- advice and support for LGBTQ sexual health
You can contact the Umbrella service by calling 0121 237 5700 for details of services and to book appointment:
- book an appointment online
- request a self-sampling STI testing kit to use at home
- find out what services are available locally
Other Sexual Health Services
Umbrella also works with lots of partners who provide services and support for particular groups who have specific needs to include:-
- Birmingham LGBT centre supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities in Birmingham and beyond. Offering a range of services focused on improving the health and wellbeing of individuals
- Rape and Sexual Violence Project (RSVP) - access to free services for any individuals subjected to sexual violence and abuse, supporting children and adults, and people of all genders
- Umbrella run a specialist service for Young People, you can contact the service by calling 0121 237 5700
Vaccines are the safest way to protect you and your family from serious infections and help you stay healthy.
It is good to check with your GP practice and make sure you have had all of the vaccines we offer for free here in England. It does not matter if you have missed them; it is important to catch up and get protected.
To protect children as early as possible many vaccines are offered to babies and toddlers before they start school. If you are unsure if you or your child has had all the recommended vaccinations in England - check with your GP practice.
Further information on the need to register with a GP to get routine vaccinations can be found in the NHS Get up-to-date with your vaccinations leaflet.
Translated versions are available to download or print locally in the following languages:
- Chinese (simplified)
- Chinese (traditional)
Vaccinations are offered to new-born babies, young children, teenagers, pregnant women and older people. You can find out more about the vaccination schedule on NHS.UK. If you have missed any of the vaccines in the UK schedule, you may still need protection, even at an older age. Ask your GP or nurse to check if you need a catch-up dose.
Babies and toddlers need vaccinations to protect them from childhood infections including:
- measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)
- whooping cough
- hepatitis B
- tuberculosis (TB)
- and more
Pre-school children need booster vaccinations for some of the diseases listed above. This helps to protect children better and for longer. Primary school children are a flu vaccination every year.
Teenagers need another top up (booster) vaccination for some of these infections, including meningitis, to give longer lasting protection into adulthood. They are also offered the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine which can prevent some cancers.
If you are planning a baby, then you should check you have received all of your vaccinations, especially 2 doses of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), before you get pregnant. MMR vaccine provides long-lasting protection against all strains of measles.
If you are pregnant, you need vaccinations to protect you and your baby from whooping cough and flu. You should also be screened (have a blood test) for infections such as hepatitis B which can pass from mother to child. Some babies may need an extra hepatitis B vaccination at birth.
Older people need vaccinations to protect them against flu, pneumonia and shingles.
Some people are more likely to suffer serious illness from infections and should be offered extra vaccinations to help protect them. This includes people living with a chronic illness that affects their major organs or their immune system.
Talk to your GP or practice nurse to check if you or your child need any routine or extra vaccine. You should also tell your GP about any other routine vaccinations that you have had elsewhere. This is so the NHS can update your vaccination record.
Bookings to make an appointment to get your previous vaccinations recorded can be made online using the National Booking Service or by calling 119 where translators will be available.
We urge all those eligible to get their Covid-19 booster vaccines and flu jabs as soon as you can.
You can get a flu jab if you are:
- in a clinical risk group (aged 6 months to under 50 years)
- aged 50 years and over (including those who will be 50 years old by 31 March 2023
- in long-stay residential care home
- a carer
- a close contact of an immunocompromised individual
- a frontline health or social care worker
Children in the following groups are also eligible:
- aged 2 and 3 years on 31 August 2022
- school aged children (all primary school aged children, reception year to year 6, and eligible secondary school aged children)
Ask your pharmacist or GP if you’re eligible for a free flu vaccine.
COVID-19 is more serious in older people and in people with certain health conditions. People aged 75 years and over, those in care homes, and those aged 5 years and over with a weakened immune system are being offered primary and booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine. If you have already had a Covid-19 vaccine elsewhere outside of the UK, speak to your GP about which further doses you should have in the UK and when you should have them.
Visit our vaccination webpage for more information.
If you or a family member has a serious accident or a sudden serious illness you should go to your nearest hospital with an Accident and Emergency department.
Emergency treatment at Accident and Emergency services at NHS hospitals is free for everyone. If it is an extreme emergency, call 999 or 112 and ask for an ambulance to transport you to a hospital.
This service is free of charge but should only be used in an emergency. If you are able to do so, you may also make your own way to the Accident and Emergency department.
Access to medical support that is not an emergency
You can also get advice by calling 111. This is a service operated by the NHS. NHS 111 will be able to refer you to a doctor or to a local Urgent Treatment Centre or provide you other guidance, depending on your circumstances.
- Dial 111 for non-urgent health advice
- Dial 999 for emergency support
- Asylum seekers may contact Migrant Help on 0808 8010 503, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year if they need help, advice, or guidance, which includes raising issues relating to safeguarding. This is a free helpline
- Refugee Action
- British Red Cross Help for refugees, and asylum seekers
- NHS website
- Solihull Active
- Solihull Council Stronger Communities page
- Find a sexual health clinic
- Micro Rainbow - support to LGBTQI asylum seekers and refugees
- Birmingham LGBT (blgbt.org)