If you are visiting England and require care in our hospitals, this page provides more information.Enquire about treatment
NHS hospitals have a legal obligation to establish whether a person is an overseas visitor and whether charges apply, if any exemptions are in place or whether the individual’s home country has a reciprocal agreement with the UK.
Where there is no exemption or reciprocal agreement in place we must charge the person receiving treatment and recover the costs from them.
If you come to us for treatment, you may be asked to complete a form and provide documents to prove that you are ordinarily resident in the UK.
If you can’t provide the documents, you may have to pay a deposit equal to the estimated cost of your treatment before you have an appointment or treatment.
Maternity services, or any other treatment which is deemed to be immediately necessary or urgent, will not be withheld. However, charges still apply and you will receive an invoice after your treatment.
A person is not deemed to be ordinarily resident in the UK simply by:
- having British nationality
- holding a British passport
- being registered with a GP
- having an NHS number
- owning property in the UK
- having paid (or currently paying) National Insurance contributions and taxes in this country.
Whether a person is ordinarily resident is based on a number of established factors.
Failure to pay
If you fail to pay for NHS treatment for which charges are appropriate, your future application to enter, or remain in the UK may be denied.
Necessary (non-medical) personal information may be passed via the Department of Health and Social Care to the Home Office for this purpose.
Patient data can be used for overseas debt recovery purposes. Please see our privacy statement for full details:Privacy statement
Some NHS services are free to everyone, including 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.
Patients living in European Economic Area (EEA) countries
This section is subject to change following the UK’s exit from the European Union.
If you access our services because the need arose during a visit to the UK, you will need to show us your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a provisional replacement card.
If you do not have these documents, you will be required to pay for your treatment and recover the costs when you return home.
If you are unsure whether you need to pay for NHS treatment, have any concerns or need more information, please contact our NHS eligibility co-ordinator, Monday to Friday 9:00am – 4:30pm
Telephone: 0191 282 0593
Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
Telephone: 0800 032 0202
You can find more information on the NHS website:How to access NHS services in England if you are visiting from abroad