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Medical care and private insurance

National Health Service

The National Health Service (NHS) is the UK’s state health service which provides treatment for UK residents through a wide range of health care services. Some services are free and some have to be paid for. The gatekeepers for most NHS services are GP doctors, who work in offices called Practices or Surgeries.

If you’ll be in the UK for less than six months, you will need to pay for non-emergency medical treatment. You should purchase private medical insurance to cover this before you arrive in the UK. If you will be in the UK for longer than six months, you will need to pay an NHS surcharge. 

St Mary’s Health Centre

We have an on-site Medical Centre that all students can access. The Medical Centre is a branch of the York Medical Practice in Twickenham. This is led by a Practice Nurse who can treat minor ailments, issue prescriptions and carry out all procedures normally available from a GP practice. If you need to see a doctor, you can make an appointment at the York Medical Practice.

Students here for less than six months should register as private patients and will pay £45 to see a nurse or £75 for a GP. Remember to keep all receipts as the costs may be recovered through your private health/travel insurance. You will also have to pay the pharmacist for any prescribed medications. 

To register as a patient, you will need to fill in a New Patient Registration Form and a GMS1 Registration form. 

Existing chronic conditions

If you have an existing chronic condition, please bring any case notes your doctor feels would be useful in the management of your condition with you. If you are taking any regular medication, please ensure that you bring enough supplies with you to cover the length of your stay in the UK. 

Emergencies and free NHS care

If you enter the UK with a Tier 4 visa and pay the NHS surcharge, then you are entitled to access NHS healthcare at no additional cost for the duration of your stay in the UK. 

Some treatment is provided free to everyone on the NHS, including accident and emergency services, family planning services, and the treatment of conditions caused by types of violence. 

Students entering with Short Term Student visas will have to pay for any medical treatment other than the above as a private patient. Private medical treatment is expensive if you do not have private medical insurance. It is very important that you take out medical insurance for the duration of your visit to the UK. 

Dental treatment

There is a charge for all dental treatments. Charges vary from dentist to dentist so ask for a quote before agreeing to any treatment.


Medical resources and contact information 

You can find details on the UKCISA website and in the St Mary’s International Student Handbook.

1) St Mary’s Health Centre                                                      

Phone: +44 (0)20 8240 4100

2) The York Medical Practice

Address: St John’s Health Centre, Oak Lane, Twickenham                
Phone: +44 (0)20 8744 0220

3) Teddington Walk-in Centre

Address: Teddington Memorial Hospital, Hampton Road                    
Phone: +44 (0)20 8714 4004 

For emergencies only, call 999 or go to the 24-hour Accident and Emergency departments at: 

4) West Middlesex Hospital

Address: Twickenham Road, Isleworth                                                
Phone: +44 (0)20 8560 2121

5) Kingston Hospital

Address: Galsworthy Road, Kingston upon Thames                           
Phone: +44 (0)20 8546 7711