The Tamil community and access to health services

Through this report, Healthwatch Lewisham draw attention to experiences of access to health and social care services faced by members of the Tamil community living in Lewisham.


  • Many participants were happy with the care they received, however Healthwatch Lewisham identified barriers that this community faces when accessing services.
  • The majority of the participants were unhappy with the booking system creating a barrier in accessing GP services when they need to.
  • Participants were also concerned with the waiting time for referral appointments and tests, some reporting it took 1 year to see a doctor.
  • The next big issue was not having enough time during an appointment with their GP. Participants complained their appointments were rushed and they did not have enough time to talk to the GP about their condition or to fully explain the symptoms.
  • The majority of participants were accessing a Tamil speaking doctor when possible to reduce the barriers to communication and access.
  • Data from translation services in the borough of Lewisham suggest however that Tamil was one of the most requested languages for translation which suggests that many members of the community require support when communicating with services.


If you require this report in an alternative format, please get in touch with us to discuss your request. 

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The Tamil community and access to health services report

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