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Student Support

 

In a physical health emergency:

For urgent and life-threatening medical problems, always call 999 from any phone and ask for the ambulance services. In an emergency, you can also go to the nearest Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department at Addenbrookes hospital on Hills Road in Cambridge.

If you are in College and have to call 999, please ensure the Porters’ Lodge is also informed straight away so they can assist and ensure that the paramedics can gain the required access to buildings immediately.

Where a situation is not an emergency but you require swift medical advice, you can contact NHS 111 by dialling 111. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you are unsure what NHS service to use or when to see a doctor, the NHS Symptom checker might be helpful.

For advice or contacts for a non-physical health emergency, please see our crisis information and contacts page.

Dental care

You can search for a dental practice in Cambridge by using the NHS service search. Unfortunately very few (if any) dental practices in Cambridge now accept new NHS patients and so students who are already registered as an NHS patient elsewhere in the UK are recommended to remain registered to retain eligibility for NHS treatment. Find out what to expect when visiting the dentist.

If you need dental treatment in an emergency and are registered at a practice in Cambridge call your dentist. Some practices offer appointments at short notice.

If you need to see a dentist out of hours:

  • call your dentist: their answerphone may advise where to get out-of-hours treatment
  • call NHS 111 to find an out-of-hours dental service near you
Sexual health

Proactively getting a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) test is a good way for sexually active adults to stay healthy. Taking a test means you can receive treatment quickly if you test positive, and that you can ensure you prevent the further spread of an STI to others.

The majority of STIs are treatable and it’s best to get a diagnosis and start treatment as soon as possible. The Lime Tree Clinic on Mill Road is the Sexual Health Clinic in Cambridge. You can find information about testing and STI symptoms on their website.

Information about emergency contraception, which can prevent STIs and unplanned pregnancy, is available from the NHS. Free pregnancy tests are available from J/MCRs, and Cambridge SU provides a range of sexual health supplies including various form of contraception for free.

If you are pregnant and you want to discuss your options, the Lime Tree Sexual Health Clinic can provide confidential advice to help you make the best decision for you. Other sources of support include your GP, College Nurse, Tutor or the Students’ Union Advice Service. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service also provides expert advice and information.

General Practitioner (GP/Doctor)

The National Health Service (NHS) provides healthcare in the UK. In Cambridge, there are a variety of services available to students seeking treatment for physical health conditions.

All students are strongly encouraged to register with a General Practitioner (GP/Doctor) upon arrival in Cambridge. This is particularly important if you have a medical condition which requires ongoing treatment. Although students are not permitted to register with both a Cambridge GP and one elsewhere in the UK, you can register in Cambridge in term time and see another GP during vacations by completing a temporary resident form.

GP practices are usually open from 8.30am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, but this may vary for each practice. You will usually need to book appointments in advance, by phone or online, but for an emergency you can call first thing in the morning to ask for a same-day emergency appointment. If you have a minor illness or injury (e.g. cuts, sprains or rashes) outside of your GP’s opening hours and it can’t wait until your GP practice next opens, call the NHS 111 helpline and seek advice. If they deem it appropriate, they will help you find a walk-in centre, minor injuries unit or urgent care centre who you can see instead of your GP.

The NHS provides guidance on what to expect when you register with a GP, as well as information for people who are not permanent residents in the UK.

Information for international students on access to healthcare and any charges that may arise is available on our international students webpage.

College nurse

Most Cambridge Colleges have a Nurse available to students who can help with a variety of health and welfare needs. This includes assessment, support and advice for students experiencing minor illnesses and injuries, mental health worries or more general support for all manner of concerns and personal or emotional issues. If more specialised help or treatment is required, the College Nurse can help refer you or point you in the right direction whether to your GP, the University Counselling Service or another local service. College Nurses are also involved in providing health education to students and members of the College.

College Nurses, as regulated nursing professionals, are bound by professional obligations relating to confidentiality. Most will publicise a confidentiality statement on their webpage and/or in College, or you can ask them what their confidentiality policy is if you are unsure.

Pharmacists

Pharmacists (sometimes known as Chemists) are able to advise on mild health conditions and appropriate treatments. You don’t need to make an appointment to see a pharmacist, you can just turn up and ask at the counter to speak to them. A pharmacist can also help you decide whether you need to seek more urgent or specialist advice if you are not sure. You can find your nearest pharmacy by searching here. This page will give you the opening times for all pharmacies in the area.

Prescriptions

Whilst access to NHS services is normally free, you will usually have to pay a prescription charge for any medicines or devices prescribed to you. These charges tend to go up each year and the current rate is £9.65 for each medicine or device dispensed (as at October 2023). You can find out more about charges, including pre-payment certificates and medical exemptions, on the NHS website.