Registering with a doctor
We recommend that you register with a doctor (called a GP, for ‘general practitioner’) at a health centre as soon as you arrive at university, so that you can be seen quickly if you have a health issue and be invited to have a COVID vaccination. You can register with the Victoria Park Health Centre which is next to the university campus, or you can find a health centre near you by searching on the NHS website.
As an overseas student staying in the UK for more than six months, you will have to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge as part of your visa application. This entitles you to use the NHS for free, although you will still need to pay some charges - such as prescriptions, eye tests and dental care - in the same way as a UK resident.
Full-time EU students have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge as part of their visa application, but if they have a valid EHIC card issued by their own country, they can claim a refund from the UK government. More information can be found at:
EU students who arrived before 1 January 2021 can use a valid EHIC card issued by their own country, until it expires. After that, they should apply for a new UK GHIC card (unless they are already insured by their home country). It should be noted that the EHIC and the GHIC cards are not an alternative to travel insurance, as they will not cover private medical care or costs, such as mountain rescue in ski resorts or being flown back home.
Students who plan to stay in the UK for less than six months are recommended to take out private health insurance before coming to the UK.
The management and medication for some conditions may be different in this country from what you are used to, and some medicines which are from your home country may not be available in the UK. So, if you have an existing medical condition, it is important to register with a local health centre, and to make an appointment to discuss how you can manage your condition. Please bring information from your current doctor which includes details of your diagnosis and treatment. If you are on medication, you should bring enough with you to last at least a few weeks.
Before you come to the UK, you should talk to your own doctor about which vaccinations you need. You should also make a list of the vaccinations you have had, and when you had them. Public Health England, part of the UK Government, recommends that students have the MenACWY and MMR vaccinations before coming to university (or as soon as you arrive). In the UK, the Meningitis B vaccination is only offered routinely to children, not adults, so it is worth talking to your own doctor back home about having this if you have not had it already.
In the UK, free COVID vaccinations are being rolled out in priority order by the NHS. If you have not had this prior to coming to the UK, you are advised to register with a health centre as soon as you arrive in the UK, so that you can be invited to have the vaccination.