Movement of people between countries is increasingly a feature of modern life and consequent changes in local populations can cause appreciable changes in the need for health and other services. Knowledge of numbers of migrants and migrations is important for proper needs assessment, thus knowledge of the demographic and health characteristics of a migrant population is important to provide appropriate services for this section of the population. Migrant groups will be characterised by cultural and religious beliefs and those providing them with services will need relevant cultural understanding and training. Sometimes migrant groups will not be familiar with spoken or written English and so need language support or translation. All these characteristics increase the risk that migrant populations may be excluded and therefore are deserving of special attention. The recent report “The Migrant Health Agenda in the West Midlands” noted the importance of understanding the diversity of the West Midlands’ populations in order to provide necessary and appropriate health and other services both to migrant and to non-migrant populations and to undertake proper Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.
A seminar on the migrant population in the West Midlands was held on 5th August 2011, West Midlands Public Health Observatory
The seminar explored the available information sources and their usefulness in building a picture of local migrant populations. The information discussed would assist those writing Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNAs) in support of the developing Health and Wellbeing Boards and associated Health and Wellbeing Strategies.
Links to the seminar presentations are available from the agenda document.
The West Midlands highlight figures for 2010
|International migration turnover per 1000
|International Inflow per 1000
|International Outflow per 1000
|Internal migration turnover per 1000
|Estimates of proportion of resident population born outside the UK
|Estimates of proportion of resident population with non-British nationality
|Migrant National Insurance Number (NINo) allocations as proportion of resident population
|Flag4 per 1000 resident population
|Worker Registration Scheme (WRS) as a proportion of the resident population
Source: Office of National Statistics
Sources of Data
Exact information on the scale of settlement and movement of refugees and migrant workers is not well known at present. There are a range of data sources, which currently provide a snapshot of new arrivals into a Local Authority area, such as the Department for Work and Pensions quarterly information on National Insurance Numbers issues for Foreign Nationals or the Workers Registration data for the A8 accession state nationals. Currently there are around 5200 asylum seekers being supported by the UK Border Agency within the Region, with additional numbers living with friends or relatives whilst their asylum claim is being considered.
Gathering information about migrants is not easy although there are a wide range of data sources available. Different sources give indications but they each describe a different part of the picture and are not easily reconciled. The problems have been well described in the West Midlands Public Health Observatory (WMPHO) publication “How many Immigrants are there in the West Midlands and who are they?”. The report is also a very useful resource guide on local migration statistics. Most of the data used in this report were sourced from the following websites:
- Migration Statistics Quarterly Report and Local Area Migration indicators
- Control of immigration statistics
- Detailed data from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) tool
- The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) is the official agency for the collection, analysis and dissemination of quantitative information about higher education.
Reports have been published on migrant communities in the West Midlands, Walsall1, Sandwell2, Birmingham and Dudley3. Maternity and infant mortality among the West Midlands migrants has been the subject of a recent report. A large study of the economic impact of migrant workers in the West Midlands published by the West Midlands Regional Observatory is also very informative.
Reports on migrants in other parts of the country have been published for the South East and for Yorkshire and Humber. Migrant health leads in the North East, North West and Yorkshire and Humber regions have developed the “Including migrant populations in the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment: a guide”. The HPA has also produced a Migrant Health Guide to support health professionals responsible for providing health care to migrant populations.
Links to important organisation(s)
There is a wide range of organisations providing services for different migrant and refugee groups. Many of these will be able to give information on the groups they help. In particular the following:
- West Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership Board (WMSMP)
The WMSMP provides regional strategic coordination and overview of WMSMP business and strategic plans and their implementation. It also supports and advises the West Midlands Leaders Board and other relevant Regional Bodies on policy issues relating to asylum seekers, refugees and new migrants.
- British Red Cross Refugee Services.
Digbeth Court Business Centre
162-164 High Street, Deritend, Digbeth, Birmingham
B12 0LD 0121 7665 444 (Temporary location)
- Medical Foundation for care of victims of torture
West Midlands Office, Unit 005 1st Floor, Caroline Point, 62 Caroline St., Birmingham B13 1UF
0121 314 6825
- Information Centre about Asylum and Refugees (ICAR)
- Refugee Council West Midlands Office, 3 Lionel Street, Birmingham, B3 1AG 0121 234 1950
- Warren K., Health and Social Care Literacy for Migrant Communities. NHS Walsall 2009
- Public Health Department, Immigrant Health in Sandwell, Sandwell PCT 2010
- Dudley NHS, Migration Data Sources for Dudley, 2011