Ensuring access health services, including mental health services is a priority. This section of the website explains how and where you can receive healthcare. Ukrainian visa holders will be entitled to access most NHS services free of charge.
You may have to pay for some services such as dental care. You can access General Practitioners (GPs), also known as family doctors, Hospitals, and Maternity services free of charge. In Wales, medical prescriptions are also free.
If you or a family member has an accident or a sudden serious illness you should go to your nearest hospital with an Accident and Emergency department which is free for everyone.
If it is an emergency call 999 and ask for an ambulance to transport you to a hospital. This service is free of charge but must only be used in an emergency. If you are able to, you may also make your own way to the Accident and Emergency department.
Do not use Accident and Emergency for minor medical problems.
Once your medical situation has been stabilised in the Accident and Emergency department you may need to stay in a specialist department of the hospital until you have fully recovered and can return home.
If you urgently need medical help or advice but it’s not a life-threatening situation call NHS 111.
A GP is a family doctor. You must register with a GP to ensure you can access treatment when you are sick. They have to offer immediate necessary treatment for anyone who normally lives outside their area. If you cannot be registered as a permanent resident in the area, you could be treated as a temporary resident for at least 14 days. If you are having trouble being accepted by a GP surgery, your Local Health Board is able to register you to a surgery. To find a GP surgery near you visit NHS Direct Wales.
You are encouraged to register with a GP as soon as possible. GPs can advise you about a wide range of routine health problems.
To register with a GP, you will need to give your name, date of birth, address and telephone number if you have one. GP surgeries may ask to see proof of identity with your name and date of birth (such as your passport or recognised identity card) and proof of address. However, they cannot refuse to register you if these are not available. Your Sponsor or Council will be able to help you register with a GP.
After you have registered with your new GP you might be asked to have a health check. This will usually be carried out by a nurse. It is important that you go to this appointment even if you are well. If you move to a different part of the UK, you will need to register with a new GP. You can only be registered with one GP practice.
Your health will not affect your immigration status or affect what NHS services are available to you. No one working for the NHS will pass on any information about your health without your permission. If a doctor believes you may be of harm to yourself or others, they may share this information.
You do not need to register with a dentist but free dental treatment will only be available at a dentist which accepts NHS patients. You can find a local NHS dentist by searching in your local area at the NHS Direct website. If you need emergency dental treatment, you can contact the dental help line at NHS Direct Wales.
Once you have registered with a GP, you can receive routine medical care. This is usually through an appointment system. You will need to ask your GP for details about how appointments can be booked at your surgery. You can also ask to be seen by a male or female doctor if possible. You can ask for a home visit if you are disabled or too unwell to visit the GP surgery.
You should make sure that the GP surgery knows in advance if you will need them to arrange for an interpreter during your appointment.
Lots of health advice can be found on the NHS Direct Wales website or on the telephone, without the need to wait for a GP appointment. NHS Direct has an interpretation service which helps people who do not speak English or Welsh to get help in a language of their choice. More information about the help NHS Direct Wales can give to those who do not speak English or Welsh can be found on their website.
The NHS in Wales aims to provide the best care and treatment but sometimes treatment may go wrong. When this happens you can make a complaint. It may be easiest to speak with those giving you treatment but if you do not want to do this, you can talk to the Health Board’s complaints team. Visit the Health in Wales website to find out more about making a complaint.
Emergency medical treatment can be sought by calling 999 and asking for an ambulance. This must only be used in an emergency. If you do not speak or understand English, speak in your own language. The call operator will arrange an interpreter. It is important you say where you are, including the address and post code.
Your GP may want you to take medicines and will write you a prescription. Take your prescription to the pharmacy or chemist. Prescriptions for medicines are free for all in Wales. Medicines can be collected from local pharmacies or chemists.
You can visit this website to find your local pharmacy: NHS 111 Wales - Local Services Search or ask for advice at your GP surgery.
The pharmacist can also give free advice on treating minor health problems, such as colds and coughs. You can buy some medicines from the pharmacy without a prescription, including some painkillers and cough medicines however you will have to pay for these medicines. You may be charged for prescription medicines.
Many health services in Wales run ‘Out of Hours’ services between 6:30pm and 8:00am on weekdays and all day at weekends and on public holidays. This is when many healthcare settings may be closed. During ‘out of hours’ periods you may still be able to telephone your GP surgery and you may be redirected to another service. You can also call NHS 111 for advice and information. You can visit the NHS 111 website at this link.
NHS Wales provides ‘screening’ to test members of the public for various types of disease at different points in life. This includes types of Cancer, Heart disease and disorders affecting healthy child development. More information about screening programmes can be found at the Screening for Life website.
Please see the following advice to help you understand the symptoms of Strep A and Scarlett Fever 'Scarletine':
Treat at home
If your child has any of the following:
- Sore throat
Cold and flu like symptoms are very common at this time of year, especially in children. Most will have a common seasonal virus, which can be treated at home by keeping the child hydrated, and with paracetamol.
Contact NHS 111 Wales or your GP for advice
If your child also develops any of the following:
- Nausea or vomiting
A fine red rash, which typically first appears on the chest and stomach. Older children may not have the rash.
Contact GP straight away
If your child has any of the following:
- Fever (a high temperature above 38°C)
- Severe muscle aches
- Localised muscle tenderness
- Redness at the site of a wound
Contact your GP or get medical advice straight away.
It is advisable for Ukrainians to register with a dentist as soon as possible. However, it is recognised that many dental practices may not have capacity to accept new NHS patients.
Options to receive dental care are:
- Contacting a local NHS practices to inquire if they have availability.
- Contacting your local health board via their helpline (NHS 111), as they keep a list of practices.
- Identifying a private dentist if the individual is in a position to fund.
If it is a dental emergency:
NHS Direct Wales should be contacted on 0845 4647.
f anyone is in pain or needs urgent dental treatment NHS Direct Wales should facilitate access to community dental services
Please note - The UK Government has not provided separate funding for health costs for Ukrainian arrivals under the various visa schemes and at present Health Boards are picking up the costs of meeting the health needs of Ukranians who become resident in Wales.
Mental health problems range from the worries we all experience as part of everyday life to serious long-term conditions. Anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression are the most common problems. If you have been feeling depressed for more than a few weeks or your anxiety is affecting your daily life, make an appointment to speak to your doctor.
You can contact the C.A.L.L. help line on 0800 132 737, this line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
The helpline can give support and information on mental health to people in Wales. You can ask for someone to speak with you in your own language.
You are likely to have experienced traumatic events and adjusting to life in a new country can be very difficult. You can talk to your GP if you feel stressed or that life is not worth living. Your GP may be able to find you some expert help. If you want to talk to someone about these problems, the Samaritans has a free to call service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, which is confidential. You can call them on 116 123.
Children and young people can also be affected by poor mental health or well-being. Secondary schools have counselling services which can be used pupils if they feel worried, anxious or confused.
Advice is also available on the NHS website (https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/ ) to support you on your way to feeling better. The NHS website also gives details of support organisations and their helplines that you can contact for help and advice.
Information on Trauma and Mental Health
If you or someone you know has experienced a traumatic event, a toolkit is available to help you. This is available in over 20 different languages (including Ukrainian and Russian). If you click on the link below, this will take you to the Traumatic Stress Wales website. You will be able to download a copy of the toolkit in the language you need. This is a link to the English version of the toolkit:
The Royal College of Psychiatrists has also developed a helpful leaflet. This one is about coping after a traumatic event:
Coping after a traumatic event | Royal College of Psychiatrists (rcpsych.ac.uk)
It contains information for anyone who has experienced a traumatic event. It can also help someone who knows a person who has experienced a traumatic event. This leaflet is available in over 20 different languages (including Ukrainian and Russian).
There is also another leaflet on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This is also available in different languages (including Ukrainian and Russian).
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) | Royal College of Psychiatrists (rcpsych.ac.uk)
Are you hosting someone who has arrived in Wales from the Ukraine? If yes, then the following leaflet could help you. It is a leaflet developed by the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Support Hub. When people arrive in Wales, they may feel frightened or disorientated. They may have seen violence towards others or experienced it themselves. They may have seen their homes and towns destroyed. They may have lost or become separated from friends and family. People may also struggle to cope with their new surroundings. The leaflet includes helpful links to information that host families might find useful:
The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Support Hub also have other resources and leaflets explaining the effects of trauma, which have been translated into multiple languages. Resources include:
a leaflet on health and wellbeing support for displaced people
a leaflet on help for people who have experienced distressing events
a navigating the storm animation
Another helpful resource is Dewis Cymru which is an online database of health and wellbeing services across Wales. You can search this database for community organisations that can offer help to those seeking sanctuary and refugees.
If you are pregnant you should notify the GP surgery to ensure that you receive support during your pregnancy from NHS midwives. After the baby is born, ‘health visitors’ will provide you with advice and support to ensure your baby is developing well. NHS Wales provides ‘screening’ services to check that your baby is healthy. This includes checks before the baby is born and when they are new born. More information about child screening programmes can be found at the Screening for Life website. Children registered with a GP in Wales can also receive a range of vaccinations to help keep them, their family and neighbours safe. These vaccines are offered free. More information about available childhood vaccines can be found at the NHS Direct Wales website.
The NHS provides a range of reproductive health services which can help you to make informed decisions. This includes advice about contraception, sexually transmitted infections, abortion and family planning. They can also help if you have been sexually assaulted. More information about sexual health can be found at the NHS Direct Wales website. Using contraception and abortion are legal in the UK and can be provided safely and without charge.
Smoking or drinking alcohol during pregnancy can damage your baby’s development. Advice and help to stop smoking can be found at the ‘Help Me Quit’ website. Advice about how to stop drinking alcohol can be found at the Alcohol Change website.
If you are a survivor of sexual violence, you can find more information which could help you on the ‘Staying Safe’ page of this website
The UK is currently experiencing a Coronavirus pandemic. The Welsh Governments COVID-19 advice webpage https://gov.wales/coronavirus has information about how to report symptoms and support if you need to self-isolate at home. It also outlines the rules in place about what you can do during the Coronavirus pandemic, for example how many people you can gather with, keeping a safe distance, and the wearing of face masks in all public places.
You are eligible for a free COVID-19 vaccination through the NHS. Here are details of how you can book a coronavirus vaccination: https://gov.wales/getting-tested-coronavirus-covid-19
The vaccine will be offered and made available to everyone living in the UK free of charge. You do not need to be registered at a GP surgery or have an NHS number to receive the vaccine. Community Pharmacies, Primary Care Network (PCN) vaccination hubs, ‘pop-up’ sites and roving models of vaccine delivery will be able to offer help to those who have not yet registered with a GP.
You are entitled to be provided with relevant information in a language you understand. It is the responsibility of health services to arrange free interpretation to make sure you can communicate properly.
Organ donation is when healthy organs and tissues from one person are transplanted into another person. When we die we might be able to give our organs to help someone who needs it. This can save or improve the lives of other people.
Lots of people in Wales and the UK are waiting for a new organ as their own have stopped working properly.
It is possible for the organs and tissues below to be donated:
- Small bowel
- Tissue and bone
It is your decision whether you would like to donate your organs after you die. You can choose which organs you would want to donate if you register your decision on the NHS Organ Donation Register.
In Wales, if you have not made a decision on organ or tissue donation; you will be treated as having no objection to being an organ donor. This is called ‘deemed consent’
If no registration is found, family will be approached, to find out if the person had made an organ donation decision. If no decision has been made and the person is:
- over 18 and
- has chosen to live in Wales for over 12 months and
- died in Wales and
- capable of understanding organ donation,
- then their consent will be deemed and they will become an organ donor
If you wish to register a decision you can do so by visiting the organ donation register website or by calling 0300 123 23 23.
Register your decision - NHS Organ Donation
Tuberculosis is known as TB. It is an infection that can spread from the coughs or sneezes of an infected person. It affects the lungs and can sometimes be very serious if it is not treated correctly.
If your child is under the age of 11 and is starting school, they do not need to have a TB test if they are feeling well.
If your child is unwell and has not been tested for TB, then you should contact a doctor as soon as you can.
Your child will be offered a TB test when they start school.
If your child is over the age of 11 they will be asked to take a TB test before they start at school, college or University. You can arrange a test with a doctor in your area.
After the test you will have a text, email or letter that you will need to show to the school, college or University.
TB tests and treatment is free.