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International student health

Help and advice on healthcare for international students at UWE Bristol.

How do I access healthcare in the UK?

If you are applying for a visa to stay in the UK for more than six months you will asked to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge as part of your visa application so you can access NHS services in the UK when you arrive.

This will allow you to use the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) once you are in the UK although you’ll still need to pay for certain types of services, e.g. prescriptions, dental treatment and eye tests.

If you are studying for less than six months, you are strongly advised to take out personal medical insurance (unless you come from another EU/EEA country or a country with a reciprocal health agreement). Before you come to the UK, EU/EEA students should contact the health authorities in their own country to complete Form E128 or they should bring their European health insurance card.

To access healthcare, register with a doctors surgery, sometimes called a GP surgery, a Practice or a Health Centre.

How do I register with a GP surgery, a Practice or a Health Centre?

Registration with a GP surgery, Practice or a Health Centre is free.

If you live on Frenchay Campus, or close to Fishponds, register via the UWE Bristol Health Centre page.

There are two doctors' surgeries that work with UWE Bristol: the doctors' surgery on the Frenchay Campus is called UWE Bristol Health Centre and the one in Fishponds is called the Old School Surgery.

If you live further away you can find your nearest doctors' surgery via the NHS website.

To find a surgery, go to the 'Services Near You' section and select the 'GPs' tab and then enter your postcode. This will then give you a list of surgeries close to you that you can register with. Go in and see them or give them a ring.

You can also use the NHS website to find your nearest optician or dentist.

Where do I go if I need healthcare?

Doctor's surgeries

Always seek healthcare through a doctor's surgery in the first instance and they can refer you to other specialist healthcare providers if necessary.

Walk-in centres

Bristol has a number of walk-in centres where you can get urgent medical advice (which is not life threatening). These are listed on the NHS walk-in centre website.

What do I do if there is an emergency?

In urgent emergencies, dial 999. Your call will be answered by an experienced person who can request an ambulance to get you to hospital if required.

Please note this number is also used for calling the police or fire brigade so you will be asked which service you require.

Where do I get medicines for minor illnesses?

If you need medicine for very minor illnesses such as headaches, coughs and colds you can go to any pharmacy for these. They can also provide some medical advice for these minor illnesses.

How can I ask for help?

Dial 111 – this will put you in touch with the NHS helpline, Call 111 if:

  • you need medical help fast but it's NOT a 999 emergency.
  • you think you need to go to Accident and Emergency or need another urgent care service.
  • you don't know who to call.
  • you don't have a GP to call.
  • you need health information or reassurance about what to do next.


  • Register with a GP surgery as soon as possible as you never know when you may need it.
  • If you require urgent medical attention dial 999.

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