How do I access factor treatment if I am visiting England for a short visit (less than 6 months)?
Hospital treatment is free to people who are “ordinarily resident” in the UK. To be considered ordinarily resident and entitled to free hospital treatment, you must be living in the UK on a lawful and properly settled basis for the time being. You may be asked to prove this. You cannot be considered ordinarily resident in the UK unless you have indefinite leave to remain or status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
If you’re not ordinarily resident in the UK, you may be charged for NHS hospital treatment, at 150% of the national NHS rate – however, some services and some individuals are exempt from payment. Treatment in A&E departments remains free for all (not including emergency treatment if admitted to hospital as an in-patient or at a follow-up outpatient appointment, for which charges must be levied unless the overseas visitor is exempt).
Therefore, if you are on a ‘visitor visa’ or ‘visa for 6 months or less’, you should bring enough supply of your own prescribed treatment with you from your home country to cover your treatment regime while in England. If you run out of your own factor supply and have a bleed in an emergency during your stay, you should attend an A&E department in a hospital that also has a haemophilia centre. You must inform the A&E staff about your bleeding disorder and instruct them to contact the haemophilia centre immediately to have you treated as quickly as possible. You may be charged for this treatment.
Please remember to always have your EHIC, PRC or S2 if you are a visitor from the EU, even if you’re a former UK resident. The EHIC covers treatment that becomes medically necessary during a visit. It will allow the UK to recover the cost of your care from your country of residence. AND it is recommended you are covered through personal medical travel insurance for the duration of your visit, even if you’re a former UK resident. This is very important for pre-existing medical conditions. Appropriate insurance means visitors may be able to recoup any treatment costs from their insurer, particularly repatriation costs or lost or stolen property which the EHIC does not cover.
More information is available on NHS.UK.
To be entitled to free NHS hospital treatment in England you must apply for a visa for longer than 6 months and pay the immigration health surcharge at the time of your VISA application (£624 per person per year or £470 per year for a student). You’ll still have to pay some charges, such as prescription or dental charges. This will also allow you to be referred to a haemophilia centre by your GP for regular treatment and care (a GP referral is required for all non-emergency hospital treatment), but referrals can take weeks which is why you need to bring enough of your own supply with you. Please note you will have to pay for any chargeable treatment you receive before the start date of your VISA and if your VISA ends earlier than planned by the Home Office, you will be charged for any further NHS hospital treatment from that date on.
More information can be found on our Global Support Section.