Windrush Generation: Health Services

Home Office written question – answered on 26th June 2018.

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Photo of Luciana Berger Luciana Berger Labour/Co-operative, Liverpool, Wavertree

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 2 May 2018 to Question 136300, what steps his Department is taking to obtain the information of the number of Windrush citizens who have been (a) denied and (b) charged for NHS treatment.

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration

Information about Windrush individuals who have been denied or charged for NHS treatment is not held by the Home Office. Decisions on eligibility for free NHS treatment are taken by individual NHS Trusts. Eligibility for free NHS treatment is principally based on being ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK, meaning, broadly, living here on a lawful and properly settled basis for the time being. Those from the Windrush generation who settled in the UK prior to 1 January 1973 will be ordinarily resident in the UK as long as they are currently properly settled here.

We set up a task force in April to help people from the Windrush generation to evidence their status. The Home Office will be notifying NHS Trusts in situations where individuals are issued with documentation by the task force. This is so that the NHS trust can consider if a charge for NHS treatment was applied incorrectly and requires cancellation. The Home Office has introduced additional safeguards to ensure those from the Windrush generation are not adversely affected by measures designed to protect benefits and services. I have chaired a cross-Whitehall meeting with relevant departments, including the Department of Health, to ensure we are all taking the relevant steps to protect the Windrush generation.

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