Safe Surgeries offer health equality

5 May 2023

Written by: Lambeth Council

News and announcements

As a borough of Sanctuary, Lambeth encourages every GP practice in the borough to become a Safe Surgery offering healthcare to vulnerable migrants.

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Safe Surgeries offer health equality

Twenty-six Lambeth GP practices (more than half the GP surgeries in the borough) have already signed up to be Safe Surgeries in Lambeth.

Safe Surgeries are committed to protecting the human right to health, recognising – and working to overcome – the barriers to healthcare access that people in vulnerable circumstances, including migrants, so often face.

Word from the Cabinet

Cllr Jim Dickson, Cabinet Member for Healthier Communities, said: “We believe that access to health care is a fundamental right. In tackling health inequalities across our borough, Lambeth’s Safe Surgeries do not discriminate against anyone wanting to register as a patient because of race, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status or any other characteristic.

“Any GP practice taking steps to tackle the barriers migrants face in getting access to healthcare can become a ‘Safe Surgery’ for everyone, and make sure that a lack of ID or proof of address, or a patient’s immigration status or language are not used as barriers to accessing care.”

Small changes, big impact

Safe Surgeries recognise that small changes in practice can make a big difference to vulnerable patients. They are willing to lead by example and work to ensure that nobody in their community is excluded. Safe Surgeries sign up to the idea that everyone in our community is entitled to quality healthcare and can get it. GP practices work in partnership with Doctors of the World UK, to offer a welcoming space for everyone looking to use health services.

safe surgeries logo

Doctors to the World /Safer Surgeries logo

Practices who have joined the Safe Surgeries community also agree to support each other and give feedback to Doctors of the World UK to support the network to grow.

More information

 As an officially recognised Borough of Sanctuary, Lambeth is working with the Lambeth Sanctuary Forum to encourage every GP practice in the borough to sign up for Safe Surgeries training and to be recognised improve access to primary care for everyone in Lambeth.

Sign up for support to become a Safe Surgery

Safe Surgeries training supports surgery staff to recognise the barriers that migrants in vulnerable circumstances face, and empowers them to overcome these barriers by implementing inclusive registration policies and following simple steps towards becoming a Safe Surgery:

  • Use the Safe Surgeries toolkit to update your registration policy – including your online registration pages
  • Advertise you are a Safe Surgery on your website and display posters to welcome patients
  • Invite other practices to join the network

Practices can commit to becoming a Safe Surgery by completing this short form and DOTW will be in touch with next steps. More information about Safe Surgeries can be found here.

(image courtesy of from Doctors  to the World website)