International globalization, disparities in living conditions, war and conflict are major contributing factors to forced migration. In 2014, the refugee population worldwide was 19.5 million; a 2.9 million increase from 2013 [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee, 2014]. This international increase is evident within the United Kingdom (UK), and the North East has the highest per capita population of asylum seekers and refugees in England (2,715) in 2015 [British Refugee Council, 2014].
Uncertainty among healthcare professionals about eligibility of access to healthcare has resulted in concern that the health needs of this vulnerable population are not being met, particularly during pregnancy [National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2010], resulting in substantial inequalities in health and healthcare provision. In the ESRC Delivery Plan for 2015/2016, Europe was identified as a research priority area and in particular migration and identity [Economic and Social Research Council Delivery Plan 2015-16].
This research aims to explore inequalities in access to maternity care and pregnancy outcomes among women with asylum seeker or refugee status, using advanced quantitative techniques. It aims to provide new insights into inequalities among this population of vulnerable women, and therefore, contribute to the broader evidence-base of individual and societal impacts of women with asylum and refugee status.