NHS treatment isn't free for everyone.
NHS hospital treatment is not free for everyone.
The NHS works on a residency based system, therefore is not free of charge to everybody. Persons who can access care free of charge are either “Ordinarily Resident” in The UK or are Overseas Visitors who are classified as being exempt from healthcare charges such as a person who has paid the International Health Surcharge. To be ordinarily resident, a person must be able to live in the UK permanently, and legally, and be doing so as part of their regular order of life.
If you are a visitor from a country within the European Union, please see the section for Europeans.
Some NHS services are free to all; these include treatment given in the Accident and Emergency department, treatment for certain infectious diseases, compulsory psychiatric treatment and family planning.
Outside of the above services, hospitals have a legal obligation to establish who is entitled to free NHS treatment. The onus is on the individual patient (within the department of health guidance) to provide whatever evidence he or she thinks is appropriate to support their claim of exemption to NHS Healthcare charges.
If you have arrived in the UK in recent years, you may be asked to prove that you are entitled to receive free healthcare. Exemptions from charges include those who have paid the International Health Surcharge (with the exception of assisted reproduction services), current asylum seekers, refugees and supported, failed asylum seekers. If you wish to enquire about this, please see the ‘Contact Us’ section.
If you are visiting from a country within the European Union, or a country that participates in the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) scheme, you may claim free healthcare by one of the following methods:
European Health Insurance Card: You may present a valid EHIC. If you are doing this, please also provide your home address in the nation where your EHIC was issued.
You can also email or send a copy of the card directly to the Overseas Visitors Team using the details in the ‘Contact Us’ section.
Provisional Replacement Certificates (PRC): If you do not have a EHIC, you may provide a PRC. The start date of this should be on or before the date that you first received hospital treatment. The end date should be the day on, or after which, you last received treatment. This website tells you how to get a PRC Certificate. You should click on the Institutions by country section and then on the flag of the country where you are resident.
If you provide your PRC you should also provide your address in your home nation.
S1 form: Persons in receipt of a UK State Pension can register an S1 from The UK with the local authorities in the country of their residence. In this case they and their family members may receive healthcare in The UK as entitled ordinary residents. If you have an S1 form, you may evidence this to prove entitlement to free healthcare
Since 6 April 2015 the costs of treatment for patients from a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) differs from that of being treated as a “World Wide” patient. European patients are charged at 100% of treatment costs. World-wide patients are charged at 150% of treatment costs. This is because EEA Country residents are protected by European Law. This decision is a government directive and not a policy created by Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.
In accordance with the Charging Regulations the Trust has a legal obligation to make and recover charges for NHS treatment in relation to any person who is not ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom. This is not optional and no one in the Trust has the authority to waive these charges. For further information regarding the current regulations for overseas visitors, visit the Gov.uk website.
Non-urgent healthcare must be paid for in full before we can provide treatment. This is a government directive and is not a policy created by the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust. In most cases, the Overseas Visitors Team will contact you prior to your appointment to give you an estimated cost and ask for payment. If you wish to enquire regarding a potential price for treatment, please contact our Overseas Visitors Team on 01422 222963 or OverseasVisitorTeam@cht.nhs.uk
Treatment that is not deemed to be immediately necessary will be withheld from patients if they are unable or unwilling to pay and are not eligible for free healthcare.
If you have been admitted to hospital, then we can provide you with an estimated cost for treatment on request which is based on NHS Tariffs applied throughout the UK. You will be asked to pay a deposit towards your treatment. We will not be able to quote an exact price for your care until you have been discharged. We will then send you an invoice for the complete package of care minus any deposits you have paid.
We accept payments by cash, debit card or credit card. If you are admitted as an inpatient we would ask for a £1500 deposit. If you attend an outpatient appointment then we would ask for the full amount in advance
If you are exempt from charges you must provide the evidence you need to prove exemption from charges in advance, otherwise you will be asked for payment and your treatment, if non-urgent, may be withheld. Any deposits/payments made prior to proof of exemption would be returned in full, if exemption was proven.
If you are liable for the charges associated with your care you may choose to use your travel insurance or health insurance to fund your care, it is therefore your responsibility to contact your Insurance Company to claim your charges back.
You can also find further information at the NHS England Overseas Visitors webpage or Department of Health Overseas Visitors Charging Regulations.
If your doctor considers that the treatment you need is immediately necessary or urgent you will be treated straight away or as soon as possible based on your clinical need. Charges still apply for this treatment including a *deposit and you will be asked for payment either before, during or after you have received the treatment. If you are seeking treatment that is neither immediately necessary nor urgent, charges still apply and a payment will be sought before commencement of the treatment.
*(Please about deposits see under methods of payment)
As all Maternity care is deemed to be “immediately necessary”, patients are encouraged to be in receipt of all maternity care available. However charges still apply and a *deposit will be sought before or during commencement of the treatment.
The payment or granting of the International Health Surcharge no longer entitles persons to receive this type of healthcare free of charge.
Overseas Visitors WHO ARE NOT entitled to free assisted reproduction services
Overseas Visitors WHO ARE entitled to free assisted reproduction services.
Failed asylum seekers
Refugees and asylum seekers who have a current application for asylum
Persons in the UK for the purpose of study
Victims of modern slavery
Persons in the UK for the purpose of work
Victims of domestic violence.
Persons whose right to be in the UK is due to a spouse visa
If you are not entitled to free assisted reproduction services, you must pay for all treatment prior to receiving it.
Here's how to get in touch with the Overseas Visitors Team:
Philip Ashworth/ James Pickles
Overseas Visitors Supervisor
Tel: 01422 222963
07827 807192 (James)
07876 846441 (Philip)
Records Services Manager/Overseas Lead