If you are visiting the United Kingdom and require treatment in our hospitals, you may have to pay for your treatment. This page gives you more details about treatment for overseas visitors.
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 that they may be charged for the treatment they receive at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.
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 the costs from them.
If you come to us for treatment, you may be asked to complete a form and provide documents to prove that you are ordinarily resident in the UK.
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.
Maternity services, or treatment which the doctor or nurse thinks is immediately necessary or urgent, will not be withheld. However charges will still apply and you will receive an invoice after your treatment. A person does not become ordinarily resident in the UK simply by:
To receive free hospital treatment, you will need to provide evidence that you are legally living within the UK. All patients who are treated at our trust, whatever their nationality and living status, are required to provide correct information when registering their details. If you are living in the UK on a settled basis then you should be prepared to provide evidence.
Some NHS services are free to everyone. This includes family-planning services and 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.
If you access our services because the need arose during your visit to the UK, you will need to show us your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a Provisional Replacement Card (PRC).
If you do not have these documents with you, you cannot demonstrate that you have an exemption to charges. You will be required to pay for your treatment and recover the costs from your ‘healthcare abroad team’ when you return home.
No. There are a number of circumstances under which you might still be entitled to free healthcare:
If you have any concerns or need any further information please contact:
Telephone Number: 0191 565 6256 x 47953
Telephone: 587 6513
Telephone: 0191 404 1072 or 0191 404 1073