Giving birth outside the UK

If you want to give birth in another European Economic Area country or Switzerland, you will need an S2 guarantee form to cover the birth and a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to cover any immediately necessary treatment that arises.

If you're using an EHIC issued by the UK, this will still be valid until the UK leaves the EU. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, your access to healthcare when visiting an EU country is likely to change.

If you're planning to visit after the UK leaves the EU, you should continue to buy travel insurance so you can get the healthcare treatment you need, just as you would if visiting a non-EU country. The EHIC may not cover you for every situation.

Even if you plan to give birth in the UK and you're only going for a short trip abroad, you're advised to take a valid EHIC with you. The card will provide cover for all medical treatment linked to the birth if the baby is born unexpectedly.

Generally, you should contact NHS England if you plan to have medical treatment in Europe. However, to apply for an S2 covering maternity care, you need to contact Overseas Healthcare Services on 0191 218 1999 and explain why you want care outside the UK.

You'll also need to include:

  • a maternity certificate (MATB1) or a letter from your UK GP or midwife that states your expected date of delivery
  • your NHS Number or National Insurance number
  • your date of birth
  • full UK address
  • dates of travel

Indicate whether you will be returning to the UK after you have given birth and whether you have already left the UK for the other country.

Fill in the Maternity S2 application form (PDF, 20kb) and send it, together with your MATB1 and all other required documents, to Overseas Healthcare Services.

If you're a resident of England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, you will need to send your application to:

Overseas Healthcare Team
Room MO104
Durham House
Tyne & Wear
NE38 7SF

Page last reviewed: 13/02/2019
Next review due: 13/02/2022