Health services information for international students

international health webpage

The UK health system can be complicated and very different to the health services provided in other countries.

Most international students use the state funded National Health Service (NHS). The NHS includes community and hospital services. Your visa status will determine how much you will need  to pay for the NHS in the UK. 

Resources

Welcome Kit for International Students

This Welcome kit contains a wide range of useful information and guidance to support your transition into Nottingham University life

Access the kit here
 

Services available for Student Visa holders

General Practice services

A health centre or GP surgery is made up of groups of doctors known as General Practitioners (GP’s) and other health professionals. To gain access to most health care services in the UK, you must be registered with a General Practice.

 You can register with the University of Nottingham Health Centre (Cripps)

At Sutton Bonington campus students can register with the Orchard Surgery

 If you have a health problem, you must make an appointment to see a doctor (or General Practitioner/GP). It can sometimes take a few days to get an appointment.

 Your GP can provide treatment and advice for common ailments. You will have to pay for any prescribed medicines. Your GP may refer you to more specialist community or hospital services to receive the appropriate treatment and care.

 
  •  Dietetic and Nutrition Services
  • District Nursing Services
  • Community Mental Health Services
  • Podiatry
  • Physiotherapy services
  • Community Diabetes Services
  • Gynaecology
  • Orthopaedics
  • Dermatology 
  • Oncology
  • Maternity
 
 

Services which you must pay for in the UK

  • Dental Services – you can join a dental practice at the University Health Centre or in your local community. All treatments must be paid for – including emergency treatment.
  • Eye Services are provided privately through an optician. You can find an optician here
 

EEA and Swiss students must have a valid EHIC (European Health Card) otherwise hospital treatment will have to be paid for. This entitlement may change after 2021 due to Brexit

 
 
Health Insurance is still required to cover emergency health related expenses such as lost fees if you are unable to complete your course;the cost of return home if a relative is ill; cost of relative visiting if you are ill; cost of returning to home country for treatment and cost of returning  a body to home country 
 

Services available for Short Stay Study visa holders

General Practice Services

A health centre or GP surgery is made up of group of doctors known as General Practitioners (GP’s) and other health professionals. To gain access to most health care services in the UK, you must be registered with a General Practice.

You will be registered as a “temporary resident” if you are staying in the UK for less than 3 months

 You can register with the University of Nottingham Health Centre (Cripps)

At Sutton Bonington campus students can register with the Orchard Surgery

 If you have a health problem, you must make an appointment to see a doctor (or General Practitioner/GP). It can sometimes take a few days to get an appointment.

 Your GP can provide treatment and advice for common ailments. You will have to pay for any prescribed medicines. Your GP may refer you to more specialist community or hospital services to receive the appropriate treatment and care.You will be required to pay for any hospital care your GP refers you to.

 
  • Dietetic and Nutrition Services
  • Community Mental Health Services
  • Podiatry
  •  Physiotherapy services
  • Gynaecology
  • Orthopaedics
  • Dermatology  
 
 

Services which you must pay for in the UK

  • Dental Services – you can join a dental practice at the University Health Centre or in your local community. All treatments must be paid for – including emergency treatment.
  • Eye Services are provided privately through an optician. You can find an optician here                         
 

If you or your family are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and started living in the UK before 1 January 2021, you may be able to apply to the free EU Settlement Scheme.

The deadline is 30 June 2021.

 
 

Health Insurance - You are advised to take out medical insurance as you will be liable for NHS charges for any treatments you receive in the UK except for emergency care, contraception, sexual health and mental health services. The tariffs are very high. Your country may have a reciprocal agreement with the UK regarding your healthcare entitlement in the UK. If so, seek advice from your home country about what treatments are covered. If you already have health insurance at home, check to see if this can be extended to cover you whilst studying in the UK.

 

Health Services (NHS) in Nottingham

As a Student Visa holder, International students have the same access to UK health services as UK citizens. This means you will have to pay the same charges as UK residents for some health services.  

As a Short Stay Study visa student, you will have to pay for some community and all hospital health services.

To access most UK health services you must register with a General Practitioner (GP - a GP is a community-based doctor in the UK) when you arrive in the UK.  A GP can refer you to specialist hospital and community-based services.

General Practice (GP) services 

General Practices are groups of doctors/GPs and allied health professionals who provide a non-emergency health service in a community setting. They work from health centres, health clinics or surgeries to provide:

  • Contraception
  • Vaccinations (e.g. flu, travel vaccines)
  •  Asthma treatment and care
  • Referral to relevant counselling services if you are feeling low and anxious
  • Skin problem treatments for conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, pigmented lesions (moles)
  • Diabetes
  •  Some minor surgery

 A General Practitioner (GP) can refer a person to a specialised hospital service.

Short Stay Study Visa holders will be charged for any hospital or specialised services they are referred to

To access GP services, you must register with a GP which covers the area where you live.

 When registering you should take proof of your identity and health information about any long-term health conditions and treatments that affect you

  • The Cripps General Practice based at the University of Nottingham Health Centre on the University Park Campus
  • Students at Jubilee Campus can register at Cripps OR at a General Practice which is nearer to where they live. You can find a GP near where you live here.
  •  At Sutton Bonington, students can register at the Orchard Surgery

Once registered appointments can be made for a consultation re non-urgent health concerns as outlined above. Usually you will have to wait a few days before you can see a General Practitioner.

Everyone must pay for any treatment prescribed by the GP. Charges are £9.15* per item. *price correct August 2020

 

 

GP + service 

All patients registered at a General Practice in Nottingham City can access additional routine appointments at evenings and weekends through the GP+ Nottingham City Service. 

The service offers:

  • appointments with GPs, practice nurses, clinical pharmacists, and physiotherapists
  •  stop smoking advisors

Appointments are available in a fully equipped, accessible location in Nottingham City.

 To book an appointment, patients need to contact the reception team at their GP Practice. (This might be Cripps or another General Practice in Nottingham City.)

 NB this service is not available to students who have registered at a General Practice outside Nottingham City – e.g. at a General Practice in Beeston or Sutton Bonington.

Address: 79a, Upper Parliament Street, Nottingham, NG1 6LD 

Monday to Friday: 16:00 – 20:00
Saturday:  09:00 – 13:00 and 14:00 – 18:00
Sunday: 09:00 – 13:00

 
 

Emergency services 

This includes a serious injury or life-threatening problem such as:

  • loss of consciousness
  • severe breathing difficulty
  • heavy bleeding
  • severe chest pain
  •  suspected broken bones
  • deep wounds (e.g. stab wounds)
  • swallowing something harmful or poisonous
  •  drug overdoses

 Location: Queens Medical Centre, Derby Road, Nottingham. How to get there and Building map

 

Emergency services are free of charge. However, Short Stay Study visa holders will have to pay for any other hospital services they receive following an emergency admission to hospital or follow up hospital care
 

Emergency services – Eye Casualty

Eye Casualty is a service that treats patients with emergency eye problems.

The service is based in the Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Centre on A Floor at QMC campus

 

Eye Casualty opens at 7am and closes at 10pm

You must contact the department before attending.

Contact number Tel: 0115 924 9924 Ext: 62882

Any conditions that have been ongoing for a long time need to be discussed with your GP first. Some GPs can refer their patients to community eye doctors, where you can have a booked appointment closer to home.

 
 

Urgent Care Centre

The Urgent Care Centre is for non-urgent medical treatment – not life-threatening conditions.

No appointment needed but you will have to wait to see a health professional.

The service can diagnose and treat many common ailments such as:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Suspected broken limbs (X ray available)
  • minor head injuries
  • cuts and grazes
  • minor scolds and burns
  • ear and throat infections
  • skin infections and rashes
  • eye problems
  • coughs and colds
  • feverish illness
  • abdominal pain
  • vomiting and diarrhoea
  • emergency contraception

 Address: Urgent Care Centre, Seaton House, London Road, Nottingham

 

111 service

111 service is 24- hour service providing guidance re health concerns – It is not an emergency service

  • Available on-line and by phoning 111
  •  You will be assessed and as appropriate, be given the opportunity to speak to a nurse, doctor, or pharmacist
  •  You may be advised to administer self- care and make an appointment with your GP if your condition does not improve
  •  You will be advised where to go if you need any urgent treatment
  • The 111 service includes advice about how to find emergency dental treatment
  •  NHS British Sign Language is available
  • The phone service can access an interpreter to speak to you in your first language
 
 

Pharmacy services

Pharmacists are qualified health professionals who are experts in medicines. They can help you with minor health concerns. Community based Pharmacists can be found in a Pharmacy shops (also known as Chemists) in the UK.

Pharmacists can help you if you have minor health concerns such as:

  • aches and pains
  • sore throat
  • coughs and colds
  • flu
  • earache
  • cystitis
  • skin rashes
  • red eye

The Pharmacist and other staff in the Pharmacy can advise you about which over the counter medicines to buy to help with a specific health issue.

YOU CANNOT BUY ANTIBIOTICS OVER THE COUNTER IN THE UK – these must be prescribed by a doctor.

You can find out more about Pharmacists here

Click here to find a Pharmacy shop/ Chemist shop near to where you live.

 

Eye care (non-emergency)

Most eye tests, spectacle lens prescriptions and frames must be paid for in the UK.

 
 

Dental services

Cripps Dental Service in the UoN Health Centre on University Park.

 The service provides NHS dental treatments and private treatments. NHS treatments include treatments that are believed to be clinically necessary. Private treatments can include cosmetic dental work. NHS dental charges are split into fixed charging bands. The Bands are determined by the complexity of the dental treatments.

You can find out what is available on the NHS here.

 If you live off campus you may wish to register with a dentist nearer to where you live.

 

Sexual health

There are several sexual health services available in the UK. These are free.

  •  HealthyU provides useful information about how you can look after your sexual health including information about services. 
  • The University Health Service provides testing for sexually transmitted infections and contraceptive services. This service is only available to registered patients.
  • Emergency contraception (to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or if your contraceptive method has failed) can be accessed at several places.You can find out where you can access emergency contraception here. For detailed information about contraception visit the FPA website
  • Sexual Health Services in Nottingham
  • Students living in Nottingham City can access free online STI testing, repeat contraception and emergency contraception online at SH:24.
  • Students living Nottinghamshire (Sutton Bonington/Kegworth) can access screening from freetestme.
 
 
 

Sexual orientation

 If you want to talk, seek support or just want some information, your Students' Union LGBT Network can help. It is free to join and a confidential service is available.

 

 

 

Mental health and wellbeing

One in three students will experience feelings of poor mental health and well-being at some point during their studies.

It is important to know that feelings of low mood and anxiety are normal feelings that everyone has occasionally.

There are proactive steps that can be taken to help maintain a positive sense of wellbeing. There are University and local services that can be accessed if those feelings become too difficult to manage alone.

You can find out more about self-management and local services here  

 
 

HIV Services

HIV testing is free of charge regardless of Visa/Immigration status.

Several different tests are available. You can access these through your GP or by visiting one of the Nottingham Sexual Health Clinics.

 
 

 

This guide was produced as part of the International Student Mental Health project, a partnership of stakeholders across the sector.

The International Student Mental Health project was funded by the Office for Students as part of their Mental Health Challenge Competition:

The University of Nottingham

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Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5151
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3666
email: studentcommsoffice@nottingham.ac.uk