Find the appropriate medical help

Find the appropriate medical help


Arrow sign What should I do if I am unwell?

If you are unwell and need advice about minor ailments such as cold, coughs and sore throats etc. you can:

  • Call the telephone helpline NHS Choices
  • Use NHS Choices online
  • Ask your local pharmacist

These services will help you self treat yourself at home.

NHS Choices helpline is a confidential 24 hour telephone helpline staffed by expert nurses. By calling 0845 4647, you can speak to a nurse for advice at any time day or night. If required there will be an interpreter to provide advice in your own language.

NHS Choices Online is an internet site which provides information about health services, a variety of conditions, contraception and advice if you are not feeling too good (even for things like a hangover).  It also has details of major self-help groups and can be accessed at 

Pharmacists can give you advice about how to deal with a range of minor illness without having to make an appointment. This advice includes what medication you could take to help.  You can ask the pharmacist for advice even if you don’t buy anything.

Staff in all of the above services are trained to direct you to a doctor if required.

If you are unwell and need to see a G.P. you will need to make an appointment with the health centre where you are registered. If this is Victoria Park Health Centre you can telephone 01162 151 105, go in person or make the appointment over the internet (this requires additional registration in advance). Opening times for Victoria Park Health Centre can be found at  

If you are not well enough to visit your G.P. call the health centre before midday.  The decision to make a home visit is made by a doctor and is based on medical need.  Having no transport is not a valid reason for requesting a visit.

1. Where do I go if I need to see a G.P. when the health centre is closed?

When the health centre is closed you can see a G.P. at any of the following centres:

The Leicester Urgent Care Centre next to the Accident and Emergency Department at the Leicester Royal Infirmary.  

Oadby and Wigston Walk-In Medical Centre.

2. What should I do if there is an emergency?

In the event of an emergency such as

  • Severe breathing difficulties
  • Unconsciousness
  • Severe blood loss
  • Suspected broken bones
  • Severe chest pain
  • A serious accident

You should go to the Accident and Emergency Department at the Leicester Royal InfirmaryAn ambulance should only be requested for cases which are life threatening; if an ambulance is required, dial 999 (calls are free from all telephones including mobiles).

If you are away from Leicester go to the nearest Accident and Emergency Department.


3. What if I need health care away from Leicester?

If you travel away from Leicester for a short period of time you will be eligible for NHS treatment wherever you go in the United Kingdom. It is sensible to take your NHS card with you and if you need to see a doctor for urgent care you can register as a temporary resident.

If you are travelling or studying abroad (as part of your U.K. university course) you are eligible for free treatment throughout the European Community.  Free treatment covers any medical treatment which becomes necessary and is provided under the state scheme. To obtain treatment you will need to have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).  More information can be found at You will need to have an NHS card before you can apply for an EHIC card.

If you are travelling in countries not included in the European community you will need to obtain private medical insurance.

Arrow sign How to register with a doctor

The University advises students to register at the Victoria Park Health Centre. Doctors, nurses and administrative staff at the Victoria Park Health Centre have expertise in ‘student health’ and they work closely with the University to support students at times of ill health.

Information about the Victoria Park Health Centre and how to register can be found on their website The Victoria Park Health Centre usually have registration sessions during the first week of the academic year in halls of residence. It is advisable to register during your first week. However, if this is not possible, registration can be done at any time. Victoria Park Health Centre will register students and staff living locally. Information about other health centres can be found at the NHS Website.

Once you have registered with a G.P. / health centre you will be sent an NHS card.  This is proof that you are registered for NHS treatment.  If you have not received the card within two months of registering, contact the health centre who will advise what you should do.  The card will be sent to the address you provided so it is essential that you notify the health centre if your address changes.  When you receive the card, keep it safe and take it with you if you visit the health centre, dentist or hospital.

  • Registration is free
  • You can only be registered with one G.P. / Health Centre at any time.

If you require a more specialised medical assessment the G.P. will refer you to the most appropriate team and hospital.

Students who come to university with a pre existing condition, are already under the care of a ‘specialised’ team either receiving treatment or waiting for an appointment, are still advised to register at the Victoria Park Health Centre.  On arrival, once registered, make an appointment to discuss with one of the G.P.’s who will then be in a better position to help while you are here in Leicester and to communicate with the relevant doctors.

If you an international student; exempt from NHS Charges and requiring hospital care you will need to provide your passport, visa, NHS card and proof of attendance at university.


Information for new students

International Students

Home (UK) Students

Arrow sign How do I find a dentist?

You do not have to register with a dentist to get a dental check or any subsequent treatment. However, you will need to make an appointment with a dentist. Information about local dentists can be found at . It is advisable to ask the dentist whether they accept NHS patients as many do not. The dentist will probably want to check you are eligible for NHS treatment and your NHS card is proof of this.

If you are not entitled to NHS treatment, or the dentist you choose does not take NHS patients (some dentists will only accept private patients), you will have to pay for the full cost of your treatment.


Useful Links:

Find a dentist

Arrow sign How do I find an optician?

You do not have to register with an optician to get your eyes tested. However, you will need to make an appointment. Information about local opticians can be found at 

Useful Links:

Find an optician

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