Overseas Visitors
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Not everyone is entitled to free NHS hospital treatment in England. If you require treatment from St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, you may have to pay for your treatment.

This page gives you more details about treatment for overseas visitors.

If you are not ordinarily resident in the UK at the time of your treatment, you will be classed as an 'Overseas Visitor'. This means that you may be asked to pay for the treatment you receive at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

NHS Trusts have a legal obligation to establish whether a person is an overseas visitor to whom changes apply, or whether they are exempt from charges. Where there is no exemption, NHS Trusts must make and recover charges from the person liable to pay for the NHS services provided to the overseas visitor.

Establishing residency

Overseas visitors seeking healthcare while in England may be interviewed by our overseas visitors team, who will ask for various documentation in order to demonstrate lawful and current residence in the UK, which entitles you to the use of the NHS free of charge.

It is the responsibility of the patient to provide evidence, when requested, to demonstrate that they are entitled to free NHS treatment. When evidence is not provided, treatment will be charged for.

Some NHS services are free to everyone. This includes accident and emergency services but not including services provided after an overseas visitor is accepted as an inpatient or at a follow-up outpatient appointment, family planning services, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections and treatment of certain infectious diseases.

  • > Patients living in European Economic Area (EEA) countries
  • > Patients from countries with reciprocal or bilateral arrangements with the UK for healthcare
  • > Patients with insurance
  • > Patients who have come from abroad to take up employment of studies in the UK
  • > Patients who are a refugee or asylum seeker

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  • > How can I prove that I am entitled to free NHS hospital treatment in England?
  • > What happens if I cannot pay?

More information

If you are unsure of your entitlement or status, please contact the Overseas Visitors Coordinator on 0151 430 1901 or email overseas.team@sthk.nhs.uk

You can find more information on the Department of Health and Social Care website 

Patients are eligible for free NHS treatment at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching hospitals NHS Trust if they are: Ordinarily resident in the UK or: Overseas visitors, but entitled to free NHS services under the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations

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