Overseas patients

The NHS is a residency-based health service, which allows UK residents who contribute to the system to receive care free at the point of delivery.

Non-urgent NHS hospital treatment cannot be guaranteed if you are not ordinarily resident, or exempt under the regulations.

Charges will apply for the hospital treatment you receive outside of the Emergency Department, and these cannot be waived.

Some exemptions apply to specific treatments - please contact us for further information.

The Trust is required by law to identify patients who are not entitled to hospital treatment free at the point of delivery, and it is the patient's responsibility to provide the appropriate evidence that will endorse their entitlement to avoid charges.

Proof of eligibility

If you are a legal resident of a country within the European Union that supports the scheme, you will need to provide your current and valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Provisional Replacement Card (PRC), obtained from your country of residence.

This should be brought with you when you attend the hospital to avoid the possibility of being charged for your treatment and then claiming the money back from your home country when you return.

Other forms of evidence can be used to establish you are in the UK legally and are ordinarily resident here:

  • At least one item with a photo:
    • Passport/Visa
    • UK Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) (this does not cover investigations or treatment for assisted conception (fertility))
    • National ID Card 
  • At least one item with your name on to prove where you live:
    • Water, Gas, Electric or Council Tax bill
    • Tenancy Agreement 
  • Any other documents that can help to establish your eligibility:
    • European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
    • Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC)
    • Wage Slip or a P60
    • Letter or statement from HMRC or DWP regarding residing in the UK
    • Copy of any birth/marriage certificates (Maternity Patients)
    • An IND and ARC (for patients claiming asylum)
    • A letter from your Educational Establishment confirming you are attending a full-time or part-time course of study (including course duration and number of hours per week of attendance)
    • Any other Home Office issued documents which are relevant to your application.

Emergency Treatment

Medical treatment provided outside of the Emergency Department in the UK is not free.

At the point of discharge from the Emergency Department and into another area of the hospital, charges will apply.

Emergency admission/treatment may be given in other departments outside of the Emergency Department, and these are chargeable from the point of arrival - e.g.:

  • Maternity Unit
  • Stroke Unit
  • Cardiac Care Unit
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • High Dependency Unit
  • Eye Clinic
  • Children's Day Assessment Unit

In a life-saving situation treatment is provided, but charges will still apply.


The following table gives guidance to the costs for treatment.

These costs are only an indication of the charges, each patient's treatment is individual and will be charged accordingly:

Treatment Type Estimated Cost
General inpatient stay (per day) £1,350 + procedures + drugs
Critical care inpatient stay (per day) £1,800 + procedures + drugs
Day case £1,360 + procedures + drugs
Outpatient appointment £350 + drugs
Maternity: antenatal care £2,100
Maternity: normal delivery £4,700
Maternity: other delivery £8,500

Charges will be made to patients in line with Department of Health Guidance on Implementing the Overseas Visitors Hospital Charges where appropriate (if the patient does not choose to be treated as a private patient).

Non-urgent NHS hospital treatment must be paid for in advance if you are not ordinarily resident, or exempt under the regulations.

Actual costs will be calculated following treatment and any additional costs will be sought from the patient, or overcharges reimbursed.

The Trust will take a rigorous approach to collection of debt incurred by overseas visitors, which may include using a third party debt collection agency and registration of the debt with the UK Border Agency.

This may affect the patient's ability to travel within or to the UK or gain a visa in the future.

All patients will be made aware of this.


Overseas Administration Team
Tel: 01793 604467
Email: gwh.overseasadmin@nhs.net

Further information

Please see:

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