Project information

Help Mary and vulnerable women this Christmas

For too many vulnerable women and children, the NHS is inaccessible. Our team of volunteer doctors & health professionals help refugees, migrants, asylum seekers and other vulnerable people, such as sex workers and domestic staff get the healthcare they need.


Charity information: Doctors Of The World

Doctors Of The World logo
  • Need


    Too many vulnerable people in the UK suffer or die because they can’t access needed medical care. In the current ‘hostile environment’ many are scared to go to a GP or hospital, even when the need is serious and urgent. Many GP surgeries also mistakenly refuse to register new patients, even when they have a legal right to primary care. This year has seen a string of high profile cases (Windrush, denial of cancer treatment) where people have wrongly been denied help.


    There is a large gap in provision of primary healthcare for refugees and migrants in the UK. This project tackles the problem in 3 ways:
    1. Our telephone helpline offers advice and advocates for people to get access to services.
    2. Our clinic provides free & confidential support. We need to expand to other cities.
    3. We conduct outreach work & have a mobile health unit that can go to the areas of the greatest need.
    Demand currently outstrips supply for our services & we want to up capacity.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Increase outreach and take the mobile clinic to three new locations


    » Recruit volunteer healthcare professionals to run the mobile clinic
    » Identify three areas with high levels of vulnerable or homeless migrants and refugees to take the mobile clinic
    » Launch the new service

    What success will look like

    We expect to help 736 vulnerable people in our mobile clinic in year one.

    Aim 2

    Expand the clinic to another city - we want to provide nationwide support in time


    » Identify premises and recruit a team of staff and volunteers
    » Promote the service to local partner charities to ensure we help the hard to reach

    What success will look like

    We anticipate the second clinic to help 460 people in year one

    Aim 3

    Maintain the hours of the advice line and improve insight on clients needs to enhance the service


    » Implement new call handling software to improve the experience for callers
    » Capture more data to then use to improve the service and identify trends
    » Improve outcomes for callers through better signposting and understanding of their needs and trends

    What success will look like

    We will answer, translate and advocate for the 450-500 people who call us every month.

  • Impact


    The long term change is that no-one feels afraid or scared to access the healthcare they are legally entitled to. We will demonstrate the success of this project by monitoring the number of calls received & the number of people we see across our clinics.

    We will also assess quality of outcomes & satisfaction with the service. We are inspected by the Care Quality Commission and have received positive reports from both inspections (we don’t get a formal rating as an independent provider).


    There is a risk that the most vulnerable do not hear about our service or are scared to access the help available. We manage this through strong networking with partners who would refer to the service.

    Uncertainty on access to the NHS for EU nationals after Brexit could see a big increase in demand and strain on our services. We are working with others to highlight the need for the current healthcare arrangements and access to the NHS to remain the same.


    Donors to this project will receive quarterly updates on the project. This will include stats and figures, as well as stories about people who’ve been helped. We will also share any changes we make to the project plan and highlight forthcoming activities and key milestones.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £224,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £97,000 Clinic Manager and Staff Salaries for our dedicated team to lead the service
      £44,000 Telephone and translation cost Many callers to our advice line need help with translation
      £30,000 Premises rent The cost of renting our clinic premises
      £13,000 Medical malpractice insurance A legal requirement
      £11,000 Service user costs We help cover the costs of travelling to the clinic and for advocacy
      £9,000 Volunteer costs To recruit, train and provide expenses to our volunteers
      £6,000 Medical supplies and equipment Medicines and equipment for the clinic
      £14,000 Overhead costs and contingency Costs of managing the project, utiliities, contingency

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Trusts and grants £93,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    We plan to expand the project from our current London base to other cities across the UK. Birmingham is our next target city, as this has the highest levels of unmet need according to our research.

    Our helpline takes calls from across the UK. The vast majority live in poverty, struggle with English and are unable to advocate for themselves.


    Vulnerable refugees, asylum seekers, migrants, people who are homeless, people in sex work and trafficked individuals will all be among those helped.

    Our research shows that almost 95% of those we see have had difficulties accessing healthcare and/or registering with a GP. Around 80% will be living in poverty.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Quite simply, there is no other comparable organisation providing direct healthcare services to vulnerable migrants anywhere in the UK.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Lucy Jones

    Lucy leads the programmes team and policy & advocacy work. She has been here since 2013 and has previous senior experience in the NHS

    Ellen Waters

    Ellen is development director. Before joining in 2016 she worked with various INGOs in fundraising and management positions.

    Phil Murwell

    Over the past 5 years, Phil has overseen the expansion of the clinic from three to five days & gained positive feedback from two CQC inspections.


Will help the next Mary visit our clinic and see our volunteer doctors and caseworkers.

Women presenting late in pregnancy having had no antenatal care - often fearful, scared and anxious. Usually they’ve had traumatic experiences of relationships breaking down, trafficking, sexual abuse or ill treatment – either in their home countries or in the UK.

Dr Rhiannon England has been a GP for over 30 years and volunteers at our clinic.