Many Americans moving to London want to know about the state of healthcare in the UK. There are several details of your relocation to London that you will only be able complete once you’re on the ground. Your relocation agents will be able to sort out quite a few of the details like opening a bank account and finding you that perfect pad, but getting healthcare is something you have to do in person.
Americans Moving To London and the NHS
The NHS in the UK requires that you register in person at a GP to be eligible for all of the healthcare benefits. Once you have found a GP in your neighborhood, you will have to make an appointment to see the doctor as well as register at the practice.
When you get to the doctors rooms you need to ask for a GMS1 form which you will fill out with all of our details. Take your passport and visa along with you as you may be asked for some proof of identity by the GP. There is no waiting period for people to register with a GP. If you are legally allowed to work and live in London then you are automatically eligible for healthcare.
Americans Moving To London and Healthcare Logistics
Once you have filled in your GMS1 form, the practice will forward your application to the Primary Care Trust that will issue you with your NHS card and number and let you know that you are on the system. It can take a couple of weeks though, so if you need medical attention then use the free clinics, (they really are very good) or go to your local hospital.
There is one requirement of the system that may take some of your time. All people wishing to join the NHS have to register at a doctor in person. You cannot register on behalf of your spouse or family when you arrive in the UK. This is why it is important to spend the first week of your relocation to London sorting out the details before you start work and get too busy.
If you need any advice on how to register or where to find a GP, the NHS website has a comprehensive list of all the GP’s. Americans moving to London need not worry that they won;t receive medical care while living in the UK.