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Welcome to our friends from Ukraine - a new health guide

Health and care partners from across Suffolk and north east Essex have created a practical and useful local guide for those people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine and seeking shelter in Suffolk and north east Essex so they know which services are available and how to access them.

With the government having guaranteed free access to NHS health care, including hospital services, GP and nurse consultations, vaccines and screenings, it is vital that guests are aware of these entitlements and know how to access them.

Called Welcome to our friends from Ukraine the handy 16-page guide is available in Ukrainian, Russian and English language formats. It can be download HERE and will be distributed as hard copies by health and care partners to host families throughout the area.

The guide is aimed at helping people establish themselves in our local area so they can live as happily and healthily as possible, and to ease their transition to living in the UK.

Features include how to register with a GP practice, how pharmacies are a good source of help and advice, where to access mental wellbeing support, the 24/7 support available from NHS 111 and advice on keeping physically well.

Dr Ed Garratt, chief executive, Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System, said: “Our local area has a proud and rich heritage of welcoming those in need, and we stand with the people of Ukraine, and we stand with the people of Ukraine, at this tragic time of violence and loss of life.

“I am proud of how health and care partners from across the system have come together so determinedly to show the greatest level of hospitality possible to our Ukrainian visitors. One of the most practical ways of expressing that hospitality is by the creation of this new guide that will give them the advice and information they need to maintain good health and wellbeing.”

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Leader of Essex County Council, said: “Essex residents have shown incredible generosity in opening up their homes to people fleeing from this dreadful war and communities across the county have welcomed Ukrainian arrivals with open arms. 

“We’re working hard alongside local councils, the NHS and voluntary organisations to ensure those who arrive in Essex have all the support they need to ease their transition to living in the UK. This new guide will make a real difference, offering easy to digest advice and practical support on arrivals’ health and wellbeing needs from the moment they arrive in Essex.”

Cllr Bobby Bennett, Suffolk Cabinet Member for Equality and Communities, said: “Suffolk has a proud history of welcoming refugees and we are united in our support for the people of Ukraine.

“We are working closely with our District and Borough partners, NHS colleagues and voluntary and community groups across Suffolk to help Ukrainian refugees settle safely and smoothly here in Suffolk.

“This new guide will ensure our Ukrainian guests and their sponsor families have the information and guidance they need to access health and wellbeing support here in Suffolk.

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