The National Health Service (NHS) is a state-run health service providing free healthcare to eligible UK residents. It does not provide free dental or optical care. Most people have to pay a standard charge for medicine that a doctor prescribes.
Who is eligible?
You are eligible for NHS care if:
- you are an EU/EEA student
- you are a non EU/EEA student enrolled on a course of study for six months or more
- you are a non EU/EAA student from a country with a reciprocal arrangement with the UK
The NHS provides free treatment to anyone for psychiatric emergencies or if there has been a serious accident. It does not provide free follow-up treatment after an accident.
If you are eligible for healthcare, you will need to register with a local doctor/general practitioner (GP) in the area that you live.
Find a Doctor
If you are new to London, it is important that you register with a General Practitioner (GP) doctor as soon as possible, so that you have easy access to healthcare when you need it.
The University has taken the time to find the best GP practices for our students, taking into account location, patient satisfaction and CQC ratings (Care Quality Commission).
To register with one of the below GPs, select the surgery nearest to your accommodation, and find the registration instructions on the website. GP surgeries generally only accept new patients who live in a specified "catchment area", so do check this before trying to register.
- Kenton Bridge Medical Centre (Dr Raja)
Raffles House, Wembley
Alexander Fleming, Hoxton
Or you can use the NHS Find GP Services tool to find the nearest practice to you.
You can also check out the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services that are close to where you live:
How does it work?
You will need to contact the GP of your choice to see if they are accepting new patients. You will then be asked to go to the clinic to register. You will be asked to take some documents (eg proof of residency, the course you are enrolled on, your student ID or your passport). You will be asked to fill in a form about you and your health history. A simple check-up will be arranged with a nurse.
What are the benefits?
Registration entitles you to:
- free consultation with your GP
- free hospital treatment in Accident and Emergency (A&E), Minor Injuries & Walk-in Units
- free hospital treatment with a specialist or consultant, if recommended by your GP
- free contraception and sexual health services
- free maternity services
Getting an appointment with a hospital specialist can take many weeks, even if your GP has referred you. Many people in the UK choose to take out private medical insurance so they can be seen more quickly, but this can be expensive.
Medications and prescriptions
If you have a long-standing health problem, or require regular prescription medicine, please ensure you have a summary of your medical condition and needs from your previous doctor. For students who are joining the University from abroad, you need to be aware that some medicines are different in the UK, or may not be regularly prescribed for certain conditions. Register with a doctor as soon as possible after your arrival or visit the Student Health Services for help and advice.
If you need help with prescription costs, visit the NHS website.
Travelling and health
If you go on holiday within the UK, you are eligible for treatment anywhere. Make sure you take your NHS card or number with you. In an emergency you can see a GP anywhere – or visit the local A&E, Minor Injuries or Walk-in Unit.
If you go travelling within the European Union (EU), you may be eligible for free medical treatment, but you must first obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). It is free and allows you to access medical help at a reduced cost while you’re travelling abroad. The easiest way to apply is online, by visiting the NHS healthcare abroad webpages. Student Health Services also provide registration forms for the EHIC card.
Note that you cannot apply for an EHIC until you have registered on the NHS. If you are not entitled to the EHIC, ensure you take out private health insurance before travelling.
If you go travelling outside the EU/EEA, visit the Department of Health website to check whether the country has a reciprocal healthcare agreement with the UK. If there is no reciprocal arrangement, you must take out private health insurance. Extreme sports (eg bungee jumping, tomb-stoning) and many snow or water sports require additional insurance.
If there's an emergency on campus, call 5555 from a Campus landline or 02079115000 ext 5555 from your mobile (it's a good idea to have this number saved) to alert a first-aider.
If you're off campus, the emergency number in the UK is 999.
For more information on campus and off-campus emergencies, see our Emergencies page.