If you are residing and working in the United Kingdom, you will usually be entitled to free medical care provided by the National Health Service (NHS). This includes primary care from a general practitioner (GP), most types of secondary specialist care, hospital treatment and emergency care. Provided your partner and dependants are legally allowed to accompany you in the UK, they too will be entitled to free treatment.
Typically, your GP or Practice Nurse will be the first point of contact for health concerns. They may be able to provide a resolution, or they may choose to refer you to a secondary specialist. The specialist will then be responsible for investigating the issue further and deciding on an appropriate course of treatment. These services will be free of charge, but you will be required to pay a small charge of £8.20 for prescriptions (children are exempt).
Urgent Care and Emergencies
NHS walk-in centres can provide you with treatment for minor illnesses and injuries without an appointment. They are not equipped to deal with emergencies, but they are very useful for dealing with minor complaints when it may not be convenient to get an appointment with your GP.
In case of a medical emergency, you should call 999 for an ambulance, or report to your nearest hospital Accident and Emergency department. Emergency care is free but again, you will be required to pay the small prescription charge.
If you are unsure how to deal with a medical situation, you can call the free NHS advice service by dialling 111, 24 hours a day. Qualified staff will assess your situation and advise you on the best course of action, arranging for emergency care if necessary. For non-urgent problems you are advised to see your GP and for life-threatening problems you should still call 999, but if you are unsure then NHS 111 can point you in the right direction.
If you require further support, contact our team of experts of experts who will happy to help.