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Date: 22 February 2020
Information for patients about the UK leaving the EU
You don’t need to take any special action to keep getting your medicines and medical products after the UK leaves the European Union (EU).
The NHS, the Department of Health and Social Care and medical companies are prepared for the UK’s exit from the EU. Plans are in place to help ensure you keep getting your medicines and medical products.
Public Health England is working closely with vaccine suppliers to ensure stocks are maintained for the national immunisation programme in the event of any disruptions to supplies, while the Department of Health and Social Care is working to ensure sufficient stockpiles of other vaccines such as those for travel and occupational health purposes.
The NHS advises that you continue to order any medical devices as normal and use them as normal. If you do have any concerns, you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
Measures are in place to ensure the NHS has access to the clinical and non-clinical supplies it needs to continue operating after the UK leaves the EU.
Your data will continue to be protected under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
Further information about NHS preparations and a list of frequently asked questions are available on the NHS website via the link below.
Eligibility for free NHS care
EEA and Swiss residents living or moving to the UK or visiting
If you're living in the UK
- Citizens from these countries living lawfully in the UK on or before exit day will still be eligible for free NHS care after the UK leaves the EU, provided you remain ordinarily resident
- Your families will also be eligible for free NHS care, provided they meet the ordinarily resident test - even if they arrive after the UK leaves the EU
If you're moving to the UK after exit day
To be eligible for free NHS care, citizens who move to the UK after exit day must:
- Meet the ordinarily resident test
- Comply with the relevant immigration requirements, once freedom of movement ends
- Irish citizens will only need to meet the ordinarily resident test to be eligible for free NHS care
If you're studying in the UK or visiting the UK
- Visitors from the EEA and Switzerland will be chargeable unless either of the following applies:
- A healthcare agreement is in place with the country of residence
- An exemption within the charging regulations applies (for example if accessing an exempt service)
Visitors from EEA countries and Switzerland whose visit to the UK starts before exit day will not be charged for treatment in England for as long as their temporary stay continues. For tourists, this will be until the end of their holiday. For students, this will be for the duration of their course, as long as they stay on it.
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