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Medical Care in the UK


The National Health Service (NHS) is the government-funded health service. All international staff 'ordinarily resident in the UK' for six months or more are eligible for National Health Service (NHS) treatment. This includes any dependants with you in the UK. NHS treatment is provided free of charge, however you will have to pay for dentistry and some more specialised services.

Detailed information on entitlement to NHS services is available on the NHS website

To prove that you are eligible to receive treatment you should provide a copy of your contract of employment (i.e. your offer letter). proof of ID (your passport/biometric card) and proof of address in the UK. Dependants should show their passports/visas.

If you are an EEA national, check the NHS website for details about access to medical care in the UK. This will differ depending on whether you are already living in the UK by 31 December 2020 or arriving in the UK from 1 January 2021.

Registering with a doctor

You will need to register with a doctor as soon as you arrive.

Emergency Medical Treatment

You may need urgent medical advice when your GP practice is closed. Each GP practice will have an 'out of hours' emergency contact number. In an emergency dial 999 if you require an ambulance.

Coventry also has a NHS Walk In Centre which is a GP led service open to registered and unregistered patients, with or without an appointment. It is open 365 days a year from 8.00 am to 10.00 pm. It is located just off the ring road in the city centre in Stoney Stanton Road, CV1 4FS. Telephone number: 0300 200 0060.

On line advice is also available on the NHS Direct web site.

Dentists and opticians

To find local dentists and opticians visit the NHS website. Dental treatment and eye care are subsidised but not free under the NHS. Dentists only take a limited number of NHS patients and many people have to pay the full cost for treatment. If you wear spectacles or contact lenses, it is advisable to have a copy of your latest prescription with you in the UK in case of an emergency. It is illegal to prescribe contact lenses for a patient if the prescription is over 2 years old.