There are several details of relocation to London that one will only be able complete once the plane has landed and they are on the ground. London relocation agents will be able to sort out quite a few of the details like opening a bank account and finding families the perfect flat. Not all things can be done by London relocation services; getting healthcare is something one has to do in person.
The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK requires that all new residents register in person at a General Practitioner (GP) to be eligible for all of the healthcare benefits while living in London. Once a GP is found in one’s neighborhood, they will have to make an appointment to see the doctor as well as register at the practice.
Once arriving at the doctors rooms Americans new to London from corporate relocation need to request a GMS1 form which should be completed with all one’s medical details. It is important to bring a passport and visa along to the doctor as one may be asked for some proof of identity by the GP. There is no waiting period for people to register with a GP. Those who are legally allowed to work and live in London are automatically eligible for healthcare.
Once the GMS1 form is completed the practice will forward the application to the Primary Care Trust that will issue a NHS card, number, and let inform all covered that they are on the system. It can take a couple of weeks, though, so those needing medical attention before that should use the free clinics, (they really are very good), or go to a local hospital.
There is one requirement of the system that may take some of time. All people wishing to join the NHS have to register at a doctor in person. Americans moving here cannot register on behalf of their spouse or family when they arrive in the UK. This is why it is important to spend the first week after relocation sorting out the details before starting relocation jobs and getting too busy.
Anyone needing advice on how to register or where to find a GP can inquire with London relocation agents or visit the NHS website which has a comprehensive list of all areas and the addresses of all the GP’s.