Why is it important to identify people who are eligible for free NHS treatment?
Homerton Hospital complies with national (and European Union) legislation about who is eligible for free NHS treatment. The regulations relating to entitlement to NHS care are intricate, but in brief, our legal obligations are to:
- ensure that patients who are not ordinarily (normally) resident in the UK are identified
- assess liability for charges in accordance with charging regulations (there are a number of exemptions)
- charge those liable to pay in accordance with the regulations
- ensure that our process is open to scrutiny and is equitably and fairly applied.
Who is responsible for identifying patients?
The Department of Health has recommended that an individual in every Trust should be made responsible for the management of patients not entitled to NHS care.
The rules about free NHS treatment are very complex. In January 2008 Homerton created the role of Patient Initiatives Officer (PIO). The PIO is first point of call for all enquiries about eligibility.
Sharon O'Neil, Patient Initiatives Officer
tel: 020 8510 5152 or 07717 681 138
What is an overseas visitor?
Overseas visitors are people who are not 'ordinarily' resident in the UK. The NHS Trust Regulations 1989 require overseas visitors to pay for treatment, unless they fall within certain exemption categories. See the Department of Health website for a full list.
We provide patients/relatives a Department of Health leaflet 'Are you visiting the United Kingdom - did you know that you may have to pay for hospital treatment whilst here'.
We also have our own leaflet as shown below.
Even if you are not ordinarily resident in the UK, as an EEA National you are not under any immigration restrictions for the first 3 months of your stay. If you need to access the NHS during this period you will require a valid EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) issued by your home country or a valid PRC (Provisional Replacement Certificate). Ifyou are unable to provide either a EHIC or a PRC then healthcare you receive outside of Accident & Emergency departments will be charged in accordance with the Department of Health Charging Regulations.
What if I take Right to Abode as EEA National?
You will still be asked to provide a EHIC but additional evidence of settlement in UK will need to be provided, Find out morte from the NHS website