*Updated - 30.9.19*
Healthcare funding for UK nationals abroad
The government has stated it will provide support to around 180,000 UK nationals living in the EU who currently have their healthcare costs paid for by the UK for a 6-month period following exit day. This includes pensioners, students, those on disability benefits and UK workers temporarily posted in the EU.
The government has also committed to covering the costs of UK nationals in the EU who are in the middle of treatment when we leave the EU, for up to a year. The government will also provide cover during the time it takes to be registered with a local healthcare scheme. This is to ensure people are not exposed to gaps in healthcare coverage and potentially high costs while they register for healthcare locally. The NHS Business Services Authority (BSA) is writing to UK nationals living in the EU to make them aware of the information they need in the country they live in.
Reciprocal healthcare arrangements with Spain after EU Exit
The Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed that Spanish citizens will continue to be able to access healthcare as they do now until at least December 2020, should we leave the EU without a deal.
The Spanish government has published a Royal Decree which enables healthcare access for UK nationals living in or visiting Spain to continue after Brexit, provided the UK does the same for Spanish nationals in the UK. The necessary legal steps have been taken in the UK, meaning that visitors from Spain will be able to use their Spanish-issued EHIC, S1 or S2 form after 31 October 2019.
Reciprocal healthcare arrangements with other countries
Following EU Exit, if you are travelling to the EEA (European Economic Area) or Switzerland on or after 31 October, please ensure you take out comprehensive travel insurance as the situation with the using the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) to receive reciprocal medical care in the EEA and Switzerland may change depending if we leave the EU with or without a deal.
EU nationals living in the UK will still be able to access NHS care after the 31 October but EU visitors will be charged for accessing NHS care when new charging regulations come into force on 31 October.
The latest information on a county by country basis is available here https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/healthcare-when-travelling-abroad/travelling-in-the-european-economic-area-eea-and-switzerland/. The info on this page is subject to change as negotiations continue to take place.
Medicines, medical devices and clinical consumables and workforce
Please continue to order your repeat medicines and medical devices and take your medicines as normal. It is important you don’t order more medicines than normal. If you do, it may mean that other people won’t be able to get their medicines.
National measures are in place to ensure that clinical and non-clinical goods and services that the NHS needs to function to continue to be available and that the NHS is able to maintain its staffing levels following EU Exit. Under UK legislation, qualifications of EU staff will continue to be recognised in the UK.
The government and Public Health England are also working together to ensure that vaccines will continue to be available as needed after the UK leaves the European Union
If you are concerned or have any questions, please speak to your GP or Pharmacist or you can email us at EUexit@sthelensccg.nhs.uk
Any information published by NHS England and NHS Improvement is available on the NHS England web pages.
Patient facing messages will continue to be published on the nhs.uk website under the appropriate section.