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Local health services

Local General Practitioner’s (GP Surgeries), Hospitals, Health Care Centres, Dentists and Opticians. Local Pharmacies where you can obtain prescriptions are also listed.

In the UK we have a National Health Service (NHS) which provides a range of services at a free or subsidised cost, the health care providers on this page are part of the NHS. If you are an international student, please see our dedicated page for information on how to access health care.

999 Service

NHS Emergency and Urgent Health Care Services must only be contacted in an emergency. Dialling 999 can be used to summon three main emergency services, Police, Fire and Rescue and an Ambulance. These phone calls are free. In the case of accident or illness requiring immediate medical treatment the patient should be taken to the Accident and Emergency Department of the Local Hospital in Southampton or Winchester.

If you are an international student there are no charges for accident and emergency services as long as you are not admitted as an inpatient, or access follow up treatment. If you have to go into hospital, you may be asked how long you are staying in the UK in order to establish whether you will have to pay for your treatment.

NHS 111 Service

NHS 111 is a free non-emergency number staffed by healthcare professionals 24 hours a day every day of the year. Use this service if you urgently need medical help and advice but it is not a life-threatening situation. If the situation is less urgent contact your GP or local pharmacist.

You will be asked questions to assess your symptoms and then directed to the people you need to speak to. If the NHS 111 advisors think you need an ambulance they will call for one to be sent to you. If they think you need an appointment, they will book one for you.

Minor Injuries Unit

This Unit can deal with most trips, falls, sprains and breaks which do not require to be dealt with at an Emergency Department. (X-rays for adults only). Other minor injuries are also treated. You will be attended to more quickly here than if you go to the accident and emergency department.

Minor Injuries Unit, Royal South Hants Hospital, Brintons Terrace, St Mary’s, Southampton, SO14 OYG. 03339 997613. 


Registering with a General Practitioner (doctor) and booking appointments

You will need to register as a patient with a local GP surgery before you will be able to book an appointment. There are two surgeries on campus but you can choose to register with any surgery near to where you are living.

When registering, you will need details of all immunisations you (and your family, if they are accompanying you) have had. A detailed programme of the vaccinations given to babies and children from birth is required so that the Health Professionals can determine whether children have received all the necessary immunisations required here in the UK.

If you need to see your doctor you can make an appointment by phone, or in person. If you are too ill to go to the surgery, a doctor may visit you at home, but you will need to arrange this with the surgery.

Surgeries on campus

University Health Service, Building 48, University of Southampton SO17 1BJ. Telephone +44(0)23 8055 7531

You can find surgeries closest to where you live here

Help with cost of medicine or treatment

You may be able to get some assistance with the Cost of Medicines, Dental and Optical Treatment if you are on a low income. To see if you qualify for any help, you should complete form HC1 which is available from Job Centre Plus offices or most NHS hospitals. Your doctor, dentist or optician may be able to give you one, too. You can also get an HC1 form by calling 0300 123 0849. You may get some help with the costs or you may not have to pay anything at all. If you buy any medicines, or have any treatment at all before you apply for assistance you should keep the receipt, as you may be able to claim the money back on form HC5, if you are eligible. You can find further information here.

Reporting Sickness absence

If you have had any time absent from your course due to ill health you must report your absence as soon as possible to your faculty of study.

Your faculty handbook will advise you about this.

Registering with a Dentist and making appointments

When you visit a dentist, you should ask whether they will accept you as an NHS patient. Many dentists in the UK now only accept private patients. Even if you are treated under the NHS there will be a charge, but again you may be entitled to some assistance with the cost if you are on a low income.

You can register with a dentist close to where you live.

Registering with an Optician and booking appointments

To get an eye test, spectacles or any other eye treatment, you will need to see an optician. There is a fixed charge for an eye test, although the cost of the test may be free if you purchase glasses and/or contact lenses at the same time. The cost of frames and lenses varies widely. There are many opticians in Southampton, so it is worth shopping around to see where you can get the best price or if there are any special offers at the time of your appointment. You can find an optician here

Free contraception and family planning advice

Advice is available free from your GP, Family Planning Clinic and Pharmacy.  If you have any concerns about your health relating to Family Planning please book an appointment to see your GP.

Pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals who can offer clinical advice for minor illnesses and wellbeing and they can also give immunisations. If your symptoms suggest that it is something more serious, they will advise you to see a GP. Many pharmacies are open until late and at weekends and you do not need an appointment.

Collecting your prescription

Certain medicines, such as antibiotics, cannot be obtained without a prescription from a doctor. The prescription should be taken to a pharmacy or a chemist to collect the medicine. Each item on prescription has a fixed cost but you may be entitled to some assistance with the cost if you are on a low income.

Children under 16 are entitled to free prescriptions. If you are not entitled to assisted costs and have to take a lot of medicines you may be able to purchase a pre-payment certificate for 3 or 12 months, which will reduce the costs significantly.

Over-the-counter medication do not need to be purchased with a prescription and examples include medicines for minor stomach upsets and for colds.

You can find your local pharmacy here

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