The British Medical Association has added its voice to criticism of the government's plans to disperse asylum seekers across the country. It says that although the plans could be implemented as early as next month, health authorities in the proposed cluster areas have not been consulted, informed or helped to put infrastructure in place to cope with large numbers.

BMA medical ethics committee chair Dr Michael Wilks said this was a 'worrying failure to provide joined-up government for a particularly vulnerable group'. The BMA also says the dispersal plans could cut asylum seekers off from support and health screening programmes.