How to continue your medical treatment in the UK?

If you have recently moved to the UK but are still under medical treatment, it is essential to continue your regular medications, especially if you suffer from chronic illnesses.

Once you arrive in the UK, you must register with the NHS (National Health Service). It’s the most effective way to get your routine prescriptions, monitor your illness and keep your medical records up to date in the country.

The NHS refers to government-funded health and medical services that everyone in the UK can use without being asked to pay the full-service cost. 

These services include:

  • Visiting a doctor or a nurse at a doctor’s office.
  • Get help and treatment at a hospital if you are sick or injured.
  • Consult a midwife if you are pregnant.
  • Get urgent help from healthcare professionals working in ambulance services if you have severe or life-threatening injuries or health problems, including being transported to the hospital. 


NHS registration

The General Practitioner (GP) will be the first point of contact for almost all NHS patients.

If you plan to live in England, register with a local General Practice (GP) clinic when you arrive. The service is free and open to everyone, and you don’t need to have an identity document, proof of address or proof of your immigration status.

It is advisable to register at a GP practice close to your home. Google “find a gp”, open the website and fill in the box with your postcode/zip code. The website will list several clinics you can register for (visit or ask your neighbours for recommendations before registering).

GPs are specialists in family medicine, preventive care, education in health and treatment of people with chronic and complex illnesses. GPs can write your prescriptions and refer you to other NHS services.

Disease monitoring

After registering with a GP you will come for your first appointment and inform your GP about your pre-existing conditions. Monitoring your illness will be just as crucial as having previous medications issued. Our body constantly changes, and moving to another climate can worsen some diseases. It’s common in respiratory, allergic and immunological pathologies and requires changing medications (eg asthma, psoriasis).

Health professionals in the UK work with protocols. We can be flexible, considering the patient’s best interest, but we cannot prescribe a drug not licensed in this country (e.g. some cancer drugs). In this case, we will offer another medication and monitor the its effectiveness.

Furthermore, some diagnoses in the UK automatically trigger other programs designed to prevent complications caused by the disease. For example, all diabetic patients should aim for reasonable blood sugar control and have an annual diabetes review.

The frequency of sugar control consultations depends on each case’s severity. But the annual program is for everyone and includes a review of cholesterol, high blood pressure, eye problems and peripheral nerve damage. Medications may change based on the results of these tests.