Overseas visitor cost improvement programme


We have set up an overseas cost improvement programme providing intensive support to help trusts recover treatment costs from overseas patients, who are not eligible for free NHS care.

Working with the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England, NHS Digital and other key stakeholders we will  support the NHS in overseas visitor identification and ensuring they make a fair contribution to their healthcare costs.

Who is the programme for?

While the programme primarily focuses on acute trusts, mental health and community healthcare services are also in scope. We have already started our engagement with these groups and we are in the process of developing the programme of work.  

Trusts can join the national overseas visitors community forum to learn from each other and ask questions. If you would like to join, please email nhscostrecovery@dh.gsi.gov.uk.

Our support offer

We have identified 51 acute trusts who will receive intensive support to improve their overseas visitor processes. As part of this support we will be looking to:

  • develop best practice models
  • achieve 95% of the potential additional identified income from overseas visitors
  • maximise identification of European Economic Area patients who have either a European Health Insurance Card (for emergency) or  S2 (for planned care)
  • introduce the use of data funnelling techniques to systematically identify overseas chargeable patients
  • increase the collection of invoiced income to reduce debt levels
  • develop metrics for inclusion in Model Hospital to allow trusts to benchmark their performances

It is of paramount importance that the Overseas Visitor Charging Regulations are implemented as intended, with immediately necessary or urgent treatment neither delayed nor denied, and protections in place for the most vulnerable.

This is a work-in-progress — we will include further resources to support the wider sector which offer the benefits from our learning. This will include examples of best practice, resources for mental health and community, case studies and videos.

A user guide for the OVM-MESH service

A user guide for the OVM-MESH service, which helps overseas visitor managers (OVMs) working in secondary care, to identify possible non-UK residents who are required to pay for their healthcare.

If you would like support or advice, please contact nhsi.overseascostimprovement@nhs.net.

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