When moving back to the UK it is important that you understand how to access healthcare.

Healthcare Provision

The provision of healthcare to you and your family will depend on where you live.

  1. For Serving Personnel - You will see little difference; your routine healthcare will continue to be delivered through your local Defence Primary Healthcare (military) medical centre.
  2. For your family - You may find that arrangements change, as not all UK military medical centres offer a Families Practice. If the local medical centre does not offer a family service then your family must register with a local NHS GP practice. If you are unsure whether your family will be able to access a military medical centre then speak to your Unit or Local HIVE immediately.

NHS Choices

This will provide you with an overview of the services provided by the NHS and how to access them within England. Further information on Mental Health, Emergency Care, Pharmacy, GP, Dental and more, can be found on the NHS Choices webpage

www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/AboutNHSservices/Pages/NHSServices.aspx

Accessing Healthcare

Your family can register with a GP before they relocate, as soon as they know where they are going to be living.  

Once your family member has registered with a GP, their existing medical records will be transferred. If they have specific health needs including medication, treatment and/or additional care they should discuss this directly with their Medical Officer and ask for a summary of their medical records before moving/posting.

If a family member has specific health needs it is essential that the GP and other services are made fully aware of their needs when registering and before they move.

This will ensure that the care they currently receive continues. Don’t forget, this also includes the need to ensure that maternity services are in place if a member of your family is pregnant and that your local health visitor is aware of children under 5. 

The GP should also be alerted if family members are undergoing a course of treatment or are on a waiting list for treatment. These needs will then be taken into account when they move, allowing for the care they are receiving to continue.

In line with the Armed Forces Covenant you and your family are entitled to the same access to health services as the general public in the area in which you live and should not be disadvantaged in accessing health services.

Remember

You must deregister from the medical and dental centre before you leave.

health flowchart

Dental

Civilians and Dependants - You should note that for all entitled civilian patients, routine dental treatment must be initiated four months prior to departure from BFG. This will ensure that you are not arriving in the UK in the middle of a course of treatment, potentially at additional cost. 

Emergency  treatment will still be available until you leave BFG. 

Before returning to the UK, there is no need to register with a dentist as with a GP because you are not bound to a catchment area and therefore have a greater choice. 

Simply find a dental practice that is convenient for you whether it is near home or work and phone them to see if they are taking on new NHS patients or to make an appointment.  Information on how to find a dentist is available through the following website www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/Dentists/LocationSearch/3.

Dental practices will not always have the capacity to take on new patients - you may have to join a waiting list, look for a different dentist who is taking on new patients, or be seen privately.

If you are having problems finding an NHS dentist you should call NHS England Customer Contact Centre on 03003112233.  

Military - For military patients, the dental centres will continue to provide both routine and emergency dental care to military patients until the closure dates. Upon return to the UK, military patients will continue to be seen and treated by the Defence Primary Healthcare (Dental). 

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

The BFG Health Service covers serving personnel and families whilst in Germany, but for travel to your new posting, you should take your EHIC with you. EHIC is free of charge and valid for up to five years. It can be renewed up to six months before expiry. Check your EHIC is still valid before you travel.

Official website: www.nhs.uk/ehic

You are reminded that if you do not have an EHIC, you will be charged for medical care outside of Germany. 

Please note that a ‘No-Deal’ BREXIT may affect your entitlement to medical treatment when traveling in the EU. 

Top Tip

You should not be charged for your EHIC Card. Avoid unofficial websites that charge to issue EHIC cards.

Additional Support

If you have any other questions, the links and contacts below will provide you with additional information.

Army families federation (Aff)

Health and Additional Needs Specialist
Telephone: 07552 861 983
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.aff.org.uk

 

The Soldiers Charity

www.soldierscharity.org

 

NHS Choices Service Search 

www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/GP/LocationSearch/4 

 

NHS Choices Armed Forces healthcare

www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Militaryhealthcare/Pages/Militaryhealthcare.aspx

 

NHS England 

www.england.nhs.uk 

 

The Royal British Legion

www.britishlegion.org.uk 

 

SSAFA

www.ssafa.org.uk

 

Help for Heroes

www.helpforheroes.org.uk