This week our Medical Director has been delivering training to NHS staff at the University College London Hospital in how to identify early, patients from overseas who may be suitable for a medically assisted repatriation.

Getting a patient safely back to their home country as soon as is safe and practical following an injury or illness can have multiple benefits both to the patient and to those financing their treatment. Patients will often recuperate better both mentally and physically when surrounded by family and loved ones as well as being in a familiar environment, perhaps without language barriers. With NHS bed availability at a critical level across many regions, early repatriation of foreign nationals also helps to free beds for others in need.

Uninsured foreign nationals who end up in NHS facilities cost the health service millions of pounds each year, many would like to return home but simply do not have the funds, knowledge or resources to arrange this themselves. By working closely with NHS discharge teams we can review each case on its own merits and help staff and patients understand when and how a repatriation might be possible.