We understand that your visit to our hospital could be very stressful for you and we would like to make it as easy as possible when it comes to some of the paperwork that needs to be completed so that we can make sure all your details are properly recorded.
The NHS is not free to everyone, and overseas visitors must be charged upfront for specified services, including NHS services, so we will be asking you to provide us with information, and certain documents, to support your claim for free treatment.
Department of Health charging regulations place a legal obligation on the Trust to recover the costs of NHS services where an individual is not entitled to free treatment.
It is estimated that, as a whole, the NHS can recover some £500 million a year from Overseas Visitors treated by the NHS. This money is invested back into NHS Services.
Hospital treatment is free to people classed as ordinarily resident in the UK which means that ‘you must be living lawfully , and voluntarily, in the UK for settled purposes as part of the regular order of your life, for the time being’. This is not dependent on nationality, payment of UK taxes, National Insurance contributions, being registered with a GP, having an NHS Number, or owning property in the UK.
If you are a visitor from inside the European Economic Area (EEA) we would ask that you bring your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), or proof of travel insurance, along with proof of your nationality with you.
Hopefully you will have obtained a EHIC before you left your country of residence. If you haven't we can help you apply for one as this will help us ensure that you receive the appropriate level of free care.
To find out how to apply for a card from your country of residence please go to www.ehic.europa.eu
If you are from outside the EEA and are on holiday, or working, in the UK then we will ask you to provide us proof of your nationality, usually this will be your passport including the visa, and Biometric Residents Permit (if appropriate) as well as details of your travel insurance policy.
If you have been living or working in the UK for over 6 months, or have been granted ’Leave to Remain’ , then it is possible that you will be classed as an ‘Ordinary Resident’ but we will need you to provide us with documents to prove your identity, where you live and work, and when you entered the UK. We may also ask you to provide an EHIC card issued by your country of origin (if appropriate).
The documents that you could use are:
- For Identity—Your passport and visa, National ID Card, a photo Driving Licence or a UK Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).
- For Proof of where you currently live— A water, gas, electricity or phone bill, a tenancy agreement (if you rent), a Council Tax Bill or a bank or building society statement. Please make sure that these documents are less than 3 months old.
To prove the minimum 6 month stay in the UK we will also require proof of how long you have been here, and the documents that could be used to do this are a pay slip or P60, a dated letter or statement from HMRC or DWP, or a tenancy agreement (if you rent).
If you are a student you will require an EHIC card (EEA students only), a copy of your Passport and Visa, Biometric Residents Permit (BRP), or proof of travel insurance to cover your whole stay in the UK. We will also require a letter from the UK school, college or university you are studying at confirming that you are on a course there, and whether it is a full or part-time course, how long it is for and also confirmation of your attendance rate.
- Should you be unable to provide the information we require you may be liable to pay any appropriate charges.
If we are unable to ascertain your entitlement to free NHS treatment, or find that you are a chargeable patient, we will ask for payment upfront, which is in line with the present regulations from the government. Any urgent or immediately necessary treatment woulkd not be compromised.
We are able to provide you with an estimation of all potential costs but this will depend on your diagnosis and your treatment pathway. We will issue a final invoice as soon as possible after your discharge.
We would ask that you settle your invoice as soon as possible after receiving it.
If you are at all worried about charging after your visit to us, or have any questions about this please do not hesitate to contact our Finance team via:
Overseas Visitors Team
New Cross Hospital
For any further details about this service please do get in touch with us.