International Office Guide Using health services in the UK.

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1 International Office Guide Using health services in the UK

2 International Office Guide Using health services in the UK The information provided in this guide is correct at the time of publication (May 2015) however it is subject to change without notice. For the most up-to-date information, please check the online version of this guide at The National Health Service (NHS) is the UK s state health service which provides treatment for UK residents through a range of healthcare facilities. This leaflet aims to provide details of your entitlement to NHS treatment, the different services the NHS offers in Nottingham and how to use them. Before you travel to the UK - vaccinations and TB testing The local Health Protection Agency recommends that all new students obtain vaccination against meningococcal meningitis C-strain. They also recommend that students under 25 who have not had mumps or two measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccinations receive an MMR booster. These vaccinations should be arranged before leaving your home country wherever possible. It is also useful if you can bring a record of your vaccinations to the UK with you. Nationals from some countries applying to come to the UK for more than six months will have to produce a certificate showing that they are free from infectious tuberculosis (TB) before a visa application will be considered. For more information, see Please note that some medicines available elsewhere in the world may not be available in the UK, or they maybe more strictly controlled than elsewhere. Where there is an ongoing medical condition, it is recommended that patients bring at least a three month supply to the UK. In addition, you should visit the The University of Nottingham Health Service shortly after your arrival to discuss obtaining further supplies of your medication. EEA students Nationals from Switzerland and the European Economic Area (EEA) coming to the UK are entitled to free NHS treatment. For stays of less than six months, students should carry a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to enable them to register for NHS services. It is advisable that for stays of longer than six months, EEA nationals also obtain an EHIC. Non-EEA students, staying in the UK for more than six months Since 6 April 2015, any Tier 4 student and dependants (if applicable) who are making a new visa application, both in-country and overseas, are being asked to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge. For more information, please visit: For students the fee is 150 per year and each dependant is to be charged the same. It is expected that the total surcharge amount for the whole period of the visa granted will be payable upfront at the visa application stage. The surcharge will not apply to nationals of Australia and New Zealand where a reciprocal healthcare arrangement applies. 1

3 Using health services in the UK For those non-eea nationals here for more than 6 months, once you have paid the Immigration Health Surcharge (if if you are exempt) it isn t essential for you to have insurance as well. However, there are sometimes waiting times for some NHS services and you may find that having an insurance policy would enable you to get private treatment more quickly. Dental treatment, eye care and prescriptions are subsidised but not free under the NHS and are therefore not covered entirely by the Immigration Health Surcharge. If you plan to visit Europe during your stay here, it is important that you take out suitable travel insurance because you will not be entitled to medical treatment there even if you are registered with the NHS in the UK. Non-EEA nationals, staying in the UK for less than six months If you are in the UK for less than six months as a student or visitor, you will not be required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge when obtaining your visa, but you will not be entitled to free NHS treatment. If you do receive NHS medical treatment, you will be charged 150% of the actual cost. As this can prove expensive it is essential for you to take out medical insurance or ensure that you have medical cover as part of a travel insurance package instead. You should plan to purchase this in your home country before you travel to the UK. Please note that some services are free to all, e.g. contraception and treatment in the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department of a hospital but ongoing treatment would need to be paid for as a private patient. Finding local NHS services and registering with a GP (doctor) You can find your nearest GP, dentist, optician or pharmacy by searching online at You will be asked to fill in some forms with personal details about yourself and your medical history, then there will be a basic consultation. For a GP, you should normally register with the surgery that is closest to where you live. If they are full however, they will give you details of other local surgeries you could use. Cripps Health Centre The University of Nottingham Health Service is conveniently situated in Cripps Health Centre on the main University Campus. The practice specialises in looking after students and staff at the University and their families. In the building there is also a dental practice, the University Occupational Health Unit and a Boots Pharmacy. The Health Centre is fully accessible for patients with disabilities. There is a ramp access to the main door, a lift to the ground floor and there is a marked parking space in the car park. The Health Centre is open Monday-Friday, 8.00 am 6.00pm and the telephone number is For more information on Cripps Health Centre, please visit their website at GPs (Doctors) A GP works in a surgery or medical centre and offers a wide range of services including advice on any illness, examinations, prescriptions, minor operations and contraceptive treatment and health screening. Your GP will refer you to another service or specialist if necessary. In the UK, you are only able to see a consultant in a hospital if you have been referred there by your GP. Visits to any GP are free if you are covered by the NHS, and although you can specify the person you would like to see, it is usual to register with a surgery and see any doctor available. You must make an appointment in advance. To register with any GP, dentist or optician, you will need to take evidence of your address in the UK, your passport, visa and a confirmation letter from the University to show that you are a student. 2

4 International Office Guide GP out-of-hours services If you or your family need medical care when your GP surgery is closed, but it s not an emergency, you can call NHS 111 and a qualified health advisor will assess your medical needs and decide whether you should be seen by a health professional. Where possible, the NHS 111 team will book you an appointment or transfer you directly to the people you need to speak to. Following contact with the emergency GP out-ofhours services, your own GP will be told what has happened as soon as your surgery re-opens Alternatively you can also visit an NHS Walk-in Centre or ask your local pharmacy for advice, please read on for further information on those services. Pharmacies (Chemists) Pharmacists in the UK dispense medicines that your GP prescribes. You can take your prescription to any pharmacy and receive the medicine immediately or after a short wait. The cost of a prescription is currently 8.20 per medicine. Pharmacists also offer advice on minor ailments, pregnancy testing and emergency contraception. If you have a minor condition, it is often quicker to seek advice from pharmacy staff instead of seeing a GP. There is a pharmacy on University Park campus at the Cripps Health Centre. In Lenton the nearest pharmacy is Burrows and Close at 336 Derby Road and in Beeston there is a Boots Pharmacy at 31 High Road and Manor Pharmacy at 24 Chilwell Road. Hospitals - emergencies and referrals You should go to a hospital if you have a critical or life-threatening situation requiring medical attention, for example, loss of consciousness, broken bones or heavy blood loss. The nearest Accident and Emergency Unit to the University (A&E) is at the Queen s Medical Centre on Derby Road. Remember: A&E should only be used for emergencies. For urgent but none critical care, refer to the earlier section on the GP out of hours service. If you cannot travel to the hospital and it is an emergency, you should call 999. Also, for certain conditions your GP may refer you to a consultant who is based in a hospital. NHS 111 phone and web service You will be able to get advice from a qualified health advisor and information on any medical condition by calling NHS 111. They will assess your medical needs and decide whether you should be seen by a health professional and where you can get help. NHS Walk-in Centres These centres offer fast and convenient information, advice and treatment of minor illnesses and injuries without you having to make an appointment. They also have longer opening hours than ordinary GP surgeries. There is no need to register with a centre specifically if you are already registered with the NHS. NHS Walk-in Centres are located at: NHS Nottingham City Health Centre (8am-8pm) 79a Upper Parliament Street, Nottingham, NG1 6LD. Phone NHS Nottingham Walk-In Centre (7am-9pm) Seaton House, London Road, Nottingham, NG2 4LA. Phone You can phone ahead for waiting times or to make an appointment for certain services. 3

5 Using health services in the UK Contraception A GP can help you to choose the best method of contraception for you. You can go to a GP to discuss contraception on your own, with your partner or with a friend. As well as preventing unwanted pregnancy, some forms of contraception also protect you from sexually transmitted infections. Some forms of contraception such as the pill (a daily contraceptive tablet) are free under the NHS, and you can get free condoms from an NHS walk-in centre. It is also possible to get emergency contraception tablets that you can take up to 72 hours after unprotected sex from your GP or from some pharmacies. In the UK, it is not considered acceptable to use abortion as a form of contraception. Sexual health You can consult your GP about conditions that may relate to your sexual health, or see a pharmacist for medication that you can buy without a prescription. If you are concerned about a sexually transmitted infection you can seek non-judgmental advice and appropriate testing from either your GP or a consultant at an NHS Sexual Health Clinic (GU Medicine) at the City Hospital. Telephone to speak to a Health Advisor and for the main reception/appointment desk. Dentists Dentists offer regular check-ups on teeth and gums and offer treatment for damaged or decaying teeth. Dentists provide NHS and private treatment, but only take a limited number of NHS patients. You should check if your dentist will accept you as an NHS patient as this will be less costly, but NHS dental treatment isn t actually free unless you hold a valid payment exemption certificate. Once you have registered initially as an NHS patient, you usually have to re-register each year or attend a check-up at least every 15 months in order to qualify for NHS care. Opticians Opticians test your sight and examine the health of your eyes. They can also recognise diseases and supply and fit glasses and contact lenses. You are not entitled to free eye tests under the NHS and will have to pay a fixed minimum charge. If your eye test indicates that you need glasses, the optician will give you a prescription and you can buy the correct lenses and frames from any optician. If you qualify for help with healthcare costs, you may be entitled to a free eye check and to a voucher for part of the cost of a prescription. There are a number of opticians in the centre of Nottingham as well as in surrounding areas such as Beeston. Financial help with healthcare costs You can apply for help with the cost of prescriptions, dental and eye treatment by filling in form HC1 which is available from any surgery or by calling When your form is processed, it will be decided if you qualify for a full or partial exemption from charges and you will be sent the appropriate certificate. The certificates are usually valid for the length of an academic year and you should apply to renew each year. If you do not have an exemption certificate and have already paid a charge for healthcare costs, you may be able to claim a refund by filling in form HC5 available as above. Health telephone helplines Free National AIDS Helpline, Free 24-hour Meningitis Helpline, Free National Drugs Helpline, Alcohol Concern, University of Nottingham Counselling Service, University of Nottingham Nightline (7pm- 8am) There is a Dental Centre at Cripps Health Centre on University Park Campus. Close by there is also the Derby Road Dental Practice at 278 Derby Road and the Peveril Road Dental Practice at 1A Peveril Road in Beeston. 4

6 International Office Guide For your notes

7 Using health services in the UK We re here to help, get in touch: We offer a professional and confidential advisory service to all international and EU students both before they join the University and once they have arrived. You can contact us by , telephone or in person. We run a regular service where you can meet an International Student Advisor, Monday to Friday throughout the academic year. To find out more about our service times and locations, please visit: internationalstudents/advisors The International Office is located at: C Floor, YANG Fujia Building Jubilee Campus Wollaton Road The University of Nottingham NG8 1BB t: +44 (0) f: +44 (0) e: We are always looking for ways to develop and improve our support service and welcome feedback from staff and students. The information in this leaflet is given in good faith and correct at the time of writing. It has been carefully checked in line with UKCISA and Home Office guidance, but The University of Nottingham accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of the information. If you would like any further information or assistance, please contact us. The advisors, Rosemary Gibson, Melanie Bentham-Hill, Ruth Hudson, Amy Newham, Hong Sun and Deborah Webb are authorised to provide immigration advice and services by an order made under Section 84 (4) (d) of the Immigration and Asylum Act If at any time you are not happy with the advice you have been given by the International Support Services Team, in the first instance you should raise this with the Head of the International Support Services Team or the Director of the International Office. If the matter is not resolved or you are still unhappy, you can make a complaint to the OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner) via their website If you require this publication in an alternative format, please contact us: t: +44 (0) e:

8 The International Office Jubilee Campus The University of Nottingham Wollaton Road Nottingham NG8 1BB, UK t: +44 (0) f: +44 (0) w:

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