What to expect when visiting a hospital


On arrival to hospital the hospital staff will decide whether you pay for your treatment. This generally depends on whether you are EEA or Switzerland national or from overseas. Another factor is your country of residence for the past twelve months. The hospital’s overseas visitors team will conduct a short interview and decide whether you qualify for a free treatment or whether you will be referred to as a private patient. All payments for hospital treatment will have to be paid in advance. If you are unable to provide a payment you are likely to be refused treatment. Exceptions apply for emergency treatments as these are free of charge.


NHS complaints

If you feel you were mistreated, discriminated against or charged for treatment that should have been free you should make a complaint. If you want to complain about a treatment that you received you should first speak to PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) officers. PALS offer confidential advice related to medical treatments and is available at every hospital.

You can ask a hospital for a copy of its complaint procedure which will guide you through the steps of a complaint.
You can also contact or visit your local Citizen Advice Bureau for impartial free advice.

Another option is to call NHS direct 0845 4647.


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Useful Websites and Sources

NHS website where you can search for health advice, health and emergency services, care and support and more Citizens Advice Bureau official website  for advice on healthcare, patients’ rights, how to register with a GP and more.

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