Background: Migrating between countries involves adjustment and movement between healthcare systems, in addition to a changing relationship between the migrant individual/family) and the state. The objective of this paper is to explore how migrant parents and families, originating from different countries of origin (both within and outside of the EU), understand and make sense of the UK health care system, including preventive child health services.
Methods: Five focus groups were held (n=28) with parents of pre-school children who had migrated from Romania, Poland, Pakistan or Somalia in the last ten years. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with key stakeholders who were directly involved in assisting migrant parents to access UK health services, such as refugee health and link workers, an interpreter, and a health visitor.
Findings: Migrant parents’ views reflected the shifting balance between state and parental responsibility, focusing on the values of a child centred society in the UK and the contrast to their country of origin. Whilst lifestyle interventions were mostly viewed positively, some migrants distrusted wider public health interventions and were critical of societal perceptions of risk. Views about acute and preventive services in the UK often reflected a more consumer-oriented value-system.
Conclusion: This study highlights the relational aspects of both migrants’ and health care workers’ views about child health and wellbeing services in the context of both shifting welfare ideology in the UK and perceptions of citizenship rights
McClean, S. (2018). Governing healthy migrant families: Migrants’ and health workers’ views and perceptions of child health and wellbeing services in the UK. European Journal of Public Health, 28(S1), 76. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/cky047.168