What you need to check before you arrive
It is important to find out which vaccinations you need before coming to the UK.
If you have a health condition
If you have a pre-existing health condition, talk to your doctor at home. You should discuss whether you will be covered by the UK healthcare system (NHS). You may need to take out private health insurance for the length of time you are studying here.
If you are having any medical treatment you should bring a doctor's report in English to the UK. The report should give details of your illness or condition. It should also detail any medicines you are taking and any future treatment you need.
If you are from Switzerland or a country in the EEA
If you are an EEA or Swiss national you must get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). You should get this from your own national health authority before you leave home. This will allow you to receive medical treatment from the National Health Service (NHS). If you do not have this card you will not be covered for illnesses you had before coming to the UK.
Students who are EU nationals and are living in the UK before 31 December 2020 can still access healthcare through EHIC. This includes visits that begin after 1 January 2021 up until the end of your course. If you arrived after 31 December you will be subject to the new immigration system, Student Route. This means you will need to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge to access NHS healthcare. If you have concerns following the EU referendum, further information and advice is available.
If you have a Student Visa
You may need to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge when you apply for your student visa. This will entitle you to National Health Service (NHS) medical treatment while you are in the UK.
What is the NHS
The NHS (National Health Service) is the UK’s healthcare system. You can access all of the services in the NHS. This includes emergency services, GPs (doctors) and dentists. Below we outline when to use the different services available.
Go to a pharmacy for advice and treatment for minor conditions that do not need a prescription. Read about services you can get from a pharmacist.
Visiting a GP (doctor)
If you have a health problem or concern visit your GP (doctor). They can treat many conditions, provide health advice and give prescriptions. They can also refer you to other NHS services. Before you make an appointment to see your GP, think about what other services might be able to help.
If you have sexual health concerns you can also visit a sexual health service. These offer testing for sexually transmitted infections and contraception advice.
Mental Health support
Read about NHS mental health support services or talk to your GP. If you need help for a mental health crisis or emergency, you can get 24-hour support and advice. Find out where to get urgent help for mental health. More information about mental health support in the UK is available from the University.
Urgent medical problems
You may need urgent medical attention that isn't a life threatening situation. If so you can go to an urgent treatment centre. Find out more about when to visit an urgent treatment centre.
Call 999 in a medical emergency. This is when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk. Find out more about medical emergencies and when to call 999.
Accident & Emergency (A&E) is an emergency department or casualty. A&E deal with genuine life-threatening emergencies. Find out when to go to A&E.
If you need help but aren’t sure where to go you can get help from 111.nhs.uk or call 111. It's available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.