Requests for Elective treatment in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Under the NHS Constitution (Dept of Health), patients are entitled to choose to be referred to any organisation that provides clinically appropriate care for their condition that has been appointed by the NHS to provide that service.
There are a number of limitations to patient choice, including:
- it only applies to services which are locally commissioned, and
- the treatment must be provided within England. Choice does not apply to providers based in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.
Treatment in another European Economic Area country
Under the EU Directive on patients’ rights in cross-border health care, patients are entitled to travel to an EEA country to purchase treatment. If the treatment is medically necessary and the same as or equivalent to a service that they would be eligible to receive under the NHS, they can apply for reimbursement, subject to certain limitations and conditions.
The Directive covers UK patients choosing to be treated in another EEA country. This does not cover patients in England choosing to access treatment in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
Patients who wish to seek treatment in another EEA country should seek advice from their GP and NHS England on their rights to be reimbursed for the cost of such treatment.