Information for overseas visitors

If you are visiting the United Kingdom and require treatment in our hospitals, you may have to pay for your treatment.

Establishing residency

If you come to us for treatment, you may be asked to complete a form and provide some of the following documents to prove that you are ordinarily resident in the UK.

  • Passport / ID / Visa/European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
  • All documents/letters relating to the Home Office
  • Housing rental agreements which specify your name
  • Property ownership details
  • Bank statement
  • Letters from education facilities
  • Contract of employment or wage slips
  • Red maternity folder (maternity patients only)
  • Working tax credits
  • Housing benefits
  • Your partner’s Passport/ID/Visa
  • Work permit
  • Two utility bills stating your name
  • Council Tax documents
  • Your marriage certificate
  • Student ID card and enrolment letter with a letter from your college confirming your attendance
  • Letter from accountant if you are self employed

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. 

A person does not become 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 a question of fact, for which a number of factors are taken into account.


We can accept payment by credit or debit card, cash or bankers draft only.

You will be asked to pay a deposit before your treatment starts.

Maternity services, or treatment which the doctor or nurse thinks is immediately necessary or urgent, will never be withheld. However charges will still apply and you will receive an invoice after your treatment

Failure to pay

If you refuse to pay for your treatment, your consultant will decide whether you can be discharged from the hospital without treatment.

If you fail to pay for your NHS treatment, necessary (non-medical) personal information may be passed to the Home Office, and future applications to enter or remain in the UK may be denied.

Resident of the UK?

NHS hospital treatment is not free for everyone. Anyone of any nationality who is not ordinarily resident in the UK at the time of treatment is an overseas visitor. This means you may be charged for the treatment you receive.

NHS hospitals have a legal obligation to establish whether a person is an overseas visitor, and whether charges apply or they have an exemption. Where there is no exemption, we must charge the person liable and recover all costs for care received.

Free treatment

Some NHS services are free to everyone, including:

  • family-planning services
  • treatment of certain infectious diseases
  • treatment at the Emergency Department is free only up to the point an overseas visitor is admitted as an inpatient, 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

If you’re from an EEA country, remember to show us your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC). You are unable to prove you are exempt from charges without your EHIC or PRC and you will be required to pay for your treatment and recover the costs from your healthcare abroad team when you return home.

More information

Visit NHS Choices for more information about charges to care in the UK.

If you have any concerns or need more information, our Overseas Visitors’ Office is open from Monday to Friday, for 9am to 5pm. You can call us on 01708 435 165.