In the UK the number used to contact the emergency services is 999. If you witness or are involved in an emergency then call this number.

You should call 999 if:

•There is a danger to life
•There is a risk of serious injury
•A crime is in progress or about to happen or an offender is still at the scene.

You should state which of the emergency services you require - Fire, Ambulance or Police (and the local coastguard in some areas of the country). Try to state your exact location and describe the problem as quickly and thoroughly as possible.

The non-emergency number for the local police is 101

You can also report crime anonymously to Crimestoppers, who are an independent charity who help in finding criminals and solving crimes.

Accident and Emergency (A&E)

If you have an accident that needs immediate medical attention or are involved with an emergency then you should call 999 for an ambulance or visit your local A&E department. This service should only be used for life-threatening emergencies or critical injuries that need immediate attention.

The nearest A&E department to the University is at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. At A&E you will be assessed by a doctor and/or nurse and they will decide on the best course of treatment for you.

NHS 111 service

NHS provide a free telephone advice service 24/7 accessed by dialling 111. This is appropriate for non-emergency health issues. Click hereor more information:

Walk-in centres

NHS walk-in centres offer convenientaccess to a range of treatments. You do not need an appointment and most centres are open 365 days a year. Some Centres offer access to doctors as well as nurses, but they are not designed for treating long-term conditions or immediately life-threatening problems. Details of your local Walk in Centre can be found here.


If you have an illness that is not life threatening, contact your Doctors (also known as General Practitioner or GP surgery) first if possible. You can still call your GP outside normal surgery hours, but you will usually be directed to an out-of-hours service. The out-of-hours period is 6.30pm to 8am on weekdays, and all day at weekends and bank holidays.

You should register with a GP surgery as soon as you can after moving to the UK. You can use this search tool to input your postcode and find your closest surgery. It will also tell you whether the surgeries are accepting new patients or not. The University Medical Practice ( is close to the University.

A GP surgery will usually have several qualified doctors and nurses working there. When you make an appointment you can request to see a particular doctor but if they are busy or it is a short notice appointment then you may see any of the doctors at the surgery.

Visits to the GP surgery are free. If you require further tests then the GP will arrange these for you, either at the surgery or the local hospital depending on the tests. They may also prescribe some medication for you using a prescription. These prescriptions need to be taken to chemists for the medication to be dispensed and currently cost £8.60, which is payable to the chemists. There are certain circumstances where you may be entitled to a discount and these are all listed on the back of the prescription.

Sexual health

Sexual health advice and support including contraception can be obtained from Umbrella Health Services

Further guidance on who is entitled to free treatment under the NHS is available from  Citizens Advice.

Private Medical Insurance

Some people consider taking private medical insurance to cover them in case of illness. Sometimes there are waiting lists with the NHS and very often you can avoid the wait by seeing a private doctor. If you are in the UK for over 6 months, you will likely be able to access the NHS, although pre-existing conditions may not be covered. Repatriation may also not be covered. All employees at the University are eligible to join the Universities and Colleges Personal Healthcare Scheme, underwritten by AXA PPP healthcare and managed by JLT Employee Benefit Solutions Ltd. The premium rates are significantly lower for University staff


You may be able to join a dental surgery as an NHS patient (as long as they are accepting new NHS patients) and receive care at a lower cost than private treatment. The amount of people who want to receive treatment on the NHS is greater than the amount of NHS spaces available so you may find it difficult to find a space. You may need to try several dentists or be placed on a waiting list to join a practice as an NHS patient.

Due to personal preference or not being able to find an NHS dentist it is not uncommon for people to register with a private dental practice and pay for treatment at the higher private prices.

Online search tools exist to help search for an NHS or Private dental practice.

University schemes

The University offers a dental scheme, private healthcare scheme and also a health cash plan. Details of these can be found on the staff benefits pages.


It is not necessary to register in advance with an optician. You can just book an appointment as needed. S W Optics is the optician on campus (R23 on the campus map). NHS Choices has more information about the types of Optician services and includes a search function to find an optician near you.



For any queries please contact the Recruitment Team on 0121 415 9000

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