Joe is a 20-year-old male refugee originally from Sudan. Joe came to New Horizon in 2020 during the lockdown, COVID-19 pandemic, and remote working. When he arrived in London, he was rough sleeping.

He was referred to the Nurse for support with registering to a GP and dental care. Joe’s second language is English and although he can communicate, he struggles with complicated conversations or conversations including jargon. Part of the Nurse’s role has been to help him understand the health system and navigate booking appointments and follow ups for health care.

The Nurse escorted Joe to get an eye test examination from Cubitt’s Opticians and a pair of reading eyeglasses was prescribed. The Nurse escorted him to the opticians and advocated for him, made sure he understood what the optician said to him. She also explained to the optician his questions and expectations.

The Nurse has also attended GP appointments with him and advocated for Joe to be referred to for further gastric tests which the doctor agreed. A telephone consultation was booked with a doctor who understands his language.

Much of the work the Nurse does with young people includes supporting young people with language and communication barriers to access healthcare and have their needs met through the process. Language can be a significant barrier for young people to access appointments or feel confident to let the GP or other services know about their symptoms.

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