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United Kingdom (UK) - Hospitals

The healthcare system in the United Kingdom ensures hospitals are open for all individuals seeking medical treatment, including expats. The NHS, Scottish and Northern Ireland state programs have numerous hospitals throughout the region that allow for emergency medical treatment.

The healthcare system has outpatient appointments for non-emergency services. It is requested that an individual wishing to see their doctor make an appointment. The patient also has to register with the facility in order to be seen for regular care. Referrals are provided for non-GP services. A general practitioner may send someone to a specialist by referral if the GP feels they cannot treat the person to the standard of care required.

In the event that a referral for an illness, disease, or disorder is needed, then admission to that area of the hospital for procedures will be based on the admission by referral only system. This does not mean a person will not receive care, however they may be restricted to locations in their immediate area rather than being able to choose a doctor anywhere in the UK.

Private hospitals work in a similar manner in that anyone can see a doctor at a private hospital, however referrals are needed for specialists. In a private hospital the patient has more control over the doctor chosen for the referral. Typically, as long as the doctor is seeing new patients, a referral will be granted according to the patient’s choice. Emergency services are different with private hospitals due to a lack of equipment. Many private hospitals are not rated as trauma centres. If a patient is in need of special equipment they may be transferred to a NHS hospital for treatment. With admission procedures, which require the acceptance of the patient, a private hospital may accept a patient that wants to transfer from a NHS hospital as long as the proper care can be attained in the private facility.

Adult and Children’s Major Trauma Centres in England

The following are major trauma centres in England. These hospitals tend to help those who have sustained severe injuries from car accidents, work incidents, and other major injuries.

Addenbroke’s Hospital, Cambridge

+44(0) 122 324 5151

Frenchay Hospital, Bristol

+44(0) 117 970 1212

James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough

+44(0) 164 285 0850

King’s College Hospital, London

+44(0) 203 299 9000

Royal London Hospital

+44(0) 207 377 7000

Southampton General Hospital

+44(0) 238 077 7222

Collaborative Hospitals in England

England has several hospitals for private, emergency, and regular services. Collaborative hospitals are a part of the NHS system. They are funded through trusts. The Royal Infirmary can also be used for enlisted members.

Manchester Royal Infirmary

+44(0) 161 276 1234

Royal Liverpool University Hospital

+44(0) 151 706 2000

Major Hospitals in Wales

The following list presents a few of the locations available for NHS and emergency services in Wales.

Bronglais General Hospital

+44(0) 197 062 3131

Prince Charles Hospital

+44(0) 168 572 1721

University Hospital of Wales

+44(0) 292 074 7747

Major Hospitals in Scotland

Scotland has a long list of hospitals on the NHS website. Some of the major ones are listed below.

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary

+44(0) 845 456 6000

Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary

+44(0) 138 724 6246

RHSC Edinburgh

+44(0) 131 536 0000

RHSC Glasgow

+44(0) 141 201 0000

Major Hospitals in Northern Ireland

There are two main hospitals in Belfast, however the NHS website has more choices for those who do not live near Belfast or are in need of emergency services.

Royal Victoria Hospital

+44(0) 289 024 0503

Belfast City Hospital

+44(0) 289 032 9241

Private Hospitals in all of the UK

Several private hospitals are available around the United Kingdom. The list below includes major hospitals for each country in the United Kingdom. These hospitals accept patients with private health insurance. Registration is also required for outpatient services. Emergency services are limited.

The Wellington Hospital, England

+44(0) 207 586 5959

Vale Hospital, Wales

+44(0) 292 083 6400

Nuffield Health Private Hospital, Scotland


Kings Bridge Private Hospital, Northern Ireland

+44(0) 289 066 7878

Expat Health Insurance Partners


Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.