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Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust
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You may be aware that the NHS is a residency-based system. As a result, the NHS is not free to use for everyone. In October 2017, new charging regulations were published that apply to overseas visitors receiving healthcare in England. 

The regulations placed a new, legal obligation on NHS providers to charge for non-urgent treatment in advance. 

If you believe these regulations may apply to you, or you are unsure whether they do, please notify a member of staff. You may be asked to complete a short form. 

The money paid by overseas visitor patients for treatment is invested back into the National Health Service. More information can be found below:

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Entitlement to free NHS treatment

The National Health Service (NHS) provides free treatment for people who live lawfully in the United Kingdom. People who do not normally live in this country are not automatically entitled to use the NHS free of charge – regardless of their nationality or whether they hold a British Passport or have lived and paid National Insurance contributions and taxes in this country in the past. 

All patients, whatever nationality and residency, are subject to scrutiny and need to provide correct information and evidence of entitlement if requested. 

Did you know....?

  • The NHS loses £350m per year treating overseas patients whose treatment was in fact chargeable.
  • Overseas visitors charging regulations have been in place since 1982. It was only in 2017 that they were made a legal obligation. 
  • Access to free NHS treatment is based on a person's residency status.
  • Whether someone is ordinarily resident in the UK is not dependent upon nationality, UK citizenship, payment of UK taxes, national insurance contributions or having a NHS number.