Executive Summary

The National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015 (the Charging Regulations) came into force on 6th April 2015 and apply to all courses of treatment commenced on or after that date. The Regulations have subsequently been amended, most recently in January 2023.

Within England, free NHS Hospital treatment is provided on the basis of someone being “ordinarily resident” when that residence is lawful, adopted voluntarily, and for settled purposes as part of the regular order of their life for the time being, whether of short or long duration.

An “overseas visitor” is any person who is not “ordinarily resident” in the UK. It is not dependent upon nationality, payment of UK taxes, national insurance contributions, being registered with a GP, having an NHS number or owning property in the UK.

Entitlement to free NHS hospital treatment at the point of use is based on residence status alone. British citizens who are no longer resident in the UK are not necessarily entitled to free NHS care at the point of use.

A person who is not ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK falls within the definition of an overseas visitor and may incur a charge for treatment.

Treatment in A&E departments, Walk in Centres and at GP surgeries presently remains free for all.


Policy Details

Download: N/A
Compiled by: Dawn Cooper
Ratified by: Trust Executive Committee
Date Ratified: April 2023
Date Issued: April 2023
Review Date: April 2026
Target Audience: All staff
Contact name: Dawn Cooper


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