Travelling to Wales for treatment

Information for EEA patients accessing healthcare in Wales.

The national healthcare provider of your home state should be able to provide you with details of the process involved in requesting treatment in another EEA country through one of its National Contact Points (NCPs). Since October 2014  EEA citizens have needed to produce a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to receive free NHS traetment in Wales and avoid charges.

Healthcare Services in Wales

State healthcare services in Wales are provided by the National Health Service (NHS). These services are defined according to the following categories:

  • Primary Care provided by general practitioners (GPs) and other healthcare professionals based in local health centres and surgeries across Wales.
  • Secondary Care provided by hospitals and the Ambulance Service
  • Tertiary Care  is offered by hospitals with more specialised expertise in treatment of particular kinds of illnesses, such as cancer
  • Community Care services are usually delivered to patients in their own homes alongside care provided by local social services departments.

Health Boards

The seven Health Boards in Wales are responsible for organising, funding and delivering hospital and primary care services. Each health board serves a specified geographic region within Wales. Click here for more information on Health Boards in Wales.

Hospital Services in Wales

Hospitals across Wales provide a range of services and most people in Wales will have access to a District General Hospital (DGH) which provides services on an outpatient, inpatient and day case basis. Specialised services such as cardiac surgery and burns and plastics services are provided in a limited range of hospitals.

Click here to search for hospitals in Wales.

For a patient to receive planned hospital treatment in Wales, they would normally first need to be referred by their GP. The length of time from referral to receiving the treatment can vary, but the NHS in Wales is committed to ensuring that patients are seen as quickly as possible according to their clinical need, with the aim of ensuring that the majority of will receive treatment within 26 weeks or less

Patients with urgent conditions such as cancer and heart disease, will be able to be seen and receive treatment more quickly.

Click here for more information about NHS waiting times in Wales.

NHS quality & safety standards and professional regulation in Wales.

This section explains how standards of quality and safety are monitored within the NHS in Wales. It also contains information about how health professionals are regulated.

The safety and quality of services provided by the NHS in Wales is measured through a range of standards, frameworks and quality assurance systems. Each healthcare provider currently undergoes an annual quality self-assessment process and from 2013 will have to publish an Annual Quality Statement explaining how they are meeting the standards required of them.

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW)

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) is the independent inspectorate and regulator of all health care in Wales. HIW’s main role is to review and inspect NHS and independent healthcare organisations in Wales to provide independent assurance for patients, the public, the Welsh Government and healthcare providers, that services are safe and good quality.

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales
Bevan House
Caerphilly Business Park
Van Road
CF83 3ED

Regulation of healthcare professionals in Wales

A number of regulatory bodies exist In order to protect the public and ensure high standards of professional practice within the UK healthcare system.

Practitioners who have met the required standards of education, training, professional skills and qualifications, are required to be registered their respective regulator.

NHS employers are obliged to check an individuals’ registration status before allowing them to practice within their role and to ensure that they maintain their registration.

The registers can be checked via the individual regulators websites, of which the main ones are listed below:

General Medical Council (GMC) registers doctors to practise medicine in the UK.

General Chiropractic Council (GCC) sets the standards for those in the chiropractic profession.

General Dental Council (GDC) protects patients and regulates dental teams.

General Optical Council (GOC) regulates the optical professions in the UK

General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) regulates the practice of osteopathy in the UK

General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) regulates pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy premises in Great Britain

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) regulates nurses and midwives in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Islands

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) regulates health, psychological and social work professionals

The Professional Standards Authority oversees the work of nine statutory bodies that regulate health professionals in the UK

Last Updated: 01/04/2017 09:00:00
The information on this page has been adapted by NHS Wales from original content supplied by NHS UK NHS website