Healthcare in the UK
How to access healthcare
Student Support and Wellbeing provides a list of local doctors, so that you can choose the one most convenient for you. Follow link to the Keeping Healthy, Keeping Safe Leaflet.
If you feel unwell and you are unable to access immediate medical care for any reason, the National Health Service (NHS) provides a confidential help and advice line called NHS Direct. Nursing staff at NHS Direct can discuss your symptoms with you and can help to establish whether further medical attention is required. The telephone number for NHS Direct is 0845 4647.
You do have to pay for most medicines that the doctor prescribes for you. For the current cost of prescriptions please click here. You may have to pay for eye examinations, spectacles and dental treatment.
If you have a pre-existing medical condition (and illness which was diagnosed before you came to the UK) and you require specialist treatment, you may wish to consider taking out private health insurance, as such conditions are not normally covered by the National Health Service.
Private treatment is also available, but it can be very expensive.
Meningitis (Important - please read)
Meningitis is a rare, but serious illness, caused by inflammation of the lining of the brain. You should be aware of the symptoms of the disease and if you think that you may be suffering from meningitis, you should seek medical assistance immediately.
Common symptoms are:
- Fever – cold hands and feet
- Stiff neck
- Dislike of bright lights
- Joint/muscle pain
(blood poisoning) can also occur, which may cause a severe rash, which does not disappear when pressure is applied to it. For a simple test, press a clear glass against the skin. If the rash does not fade, this may be a symptom of septicaemia and you should seek medical attention immediately.
Whilst you should not be too concerned about meningitis, you should take the precaution of familiarising yourself with the most common symptoms. Further information on meningitis can be found online at the Meningitis Trust and in our Keeping Healthy, Keeping Safe Leaflet
Help in an emergency
If you think you may require emergency medical assistance whilst on campus, please call Security on extension 3200, who will then call an ambulance on your behalf. If you are not on campus, please dial 999 from any telephone and ask for an ambulance. You do not need to pay to make a 999 call or for emergency assistance.
Please note: You should only dial 999 in the event of a real emergency. Please make a note of your GP’s telephone number and the telephone number of your local police station in case you need help for minor incidents.
The non-emergency number for the police is: 101
For further information on healthcare in the UK, look at the NHS Direct website (for 24 hour health advice from healthcare professionals) or NHS England (for lists of local doctors, dentists, opticians, hospitals and pharmacies).