Proof of residency
We have a legal duty to establish if overseas visitors are entitled to free NHS treatment.
Anyone of any nationality (including British citizens) who is not ordinarily resident in the UK at the time of treatment is classed as an ‘overseas visitor’. This means that they may be charged for any treatment they receive.
Free NHS care is based on proof of residency in the UK. Our staff will ask you whether you have lived in the UK for the last 12 months and you may be asked to prove this by providing documents such as a council tax bill, utility bill, payslip or tenancy agreement. Having a British passport does not automatically prove you are eligible for treatment. You need to be able to show you are a resident.
You are not entitled to free NHS care simply because:
- You have British nationality
- Hold a British passport
- Are registered with a GP in the UK
- Have an NHS number
- Own property in the UK
- Have paid or are currently paying national insurance and taxes in the UK.
If you have hold an S1, S2 EHIC, PRC, VRP or are claiming asylum please bring proof of this with you to the hospital.
EU patients fall into three categories:
- Those who entered the UK before 11pm on 31/12/20 – you will need to prove you live in the UK and provide your EU settlement status
- Those who entered the UK after 11pm on 31/12/20 – you will need to provide your UK immigration health surcharge, Biometric Residencey Permit (BRP) along with your passport
- Those who entered the UK after 11pm on 31/12/20 and are a dependent of an EU national who entered the UK before 11pm on 31/12/20 where the relationship was already established – you will need to prove both you and your EU family member live in the UK, proof of your relationship (including proof the relationship was in existence before the cut off date and time) proof of both your EU settlement status and both passports.
The UK has reciprocal healthcare agreements with some non EU countries.
Visitors from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Falkland Islands are not overseas visitors and are treated like any other UK resident.
If you cannot show that you are a resident of the UK, provide your EU settled status, or a valid visa then you will be charged for treatment
Some NHS services are free to everyone. This includes family-planning services and treatment of certain infectious diseases. Treatment in our emergency department (A&E) is free only up to the point an overseas visitor is admitted as an inpatient, seen by separate specialist doctor within A&E following triage, or given an outpatient appointment.
This means that emergency treatment elsewhere in the hospital, such as coronary care and further emergency or urgent treatment after admission, is chargeable.
For more information on accessing NHS services in England visit the NHS website
For more information on accessing NHS services in England visit the NHS website.
Our oversees patients team are available via email at firstname.lastname@example.org