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Before you travel

If you have been living in a tuberculosis high-risk area, and you will be coming to the UK for 6 months or more then you will need to provide a TB certificate with your UK visa application. 

We also advise that all students are vaccinated against Meningitis C and MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) before they travel to the UK. These are rare but serious diseases that can easily spread in student populations. If you cannot have the vaccine in your home country, you should make an appointment as soon as you’re registered with a GP here.  

If you are undergoing medical treatment, have a pre-existing serious health issue, or if you have a disability, we recommend that you contact the University’s Enabling Centre before you travel to find out what support they will be able to offer when you’re here. If you know you will need ongoing medical treatment whilst you’re in the UK, you should also bring a doctor’s report (translated into English) with you. If you want to bring medication from home, you should check with your airline about what you are allowed to take on board with you, and what you can bring through customs.

Arranging health insurance

If you are an international student coming for less than 6 months then you should arrange health insurance before you travel as you are not entitled to free healthcare in the UK.    Even if you have paid the Immigration Health Surcharge you may still choose to arrange private health insurance. There are often long waiting lists for non-emergency treatment or to see a specialist at the hospital, and health insurance would give you access to private treatment which is much quicker. 

Paying for healthcare

If you are an international student coming to the UK for more than 6 months, and you paid the Immigration Health Surcharge as part of your visa application then you are entitled to free healthcare in the UK. However, you will have to pay to visit the optician, dentist and to buy prescriptions (£8.40 per item). If you are an EEA national with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) then you are entitled to free healthcare in the UK.  If you are an international student coming for less than 6 months then you will not be entitled to free healthcare in the UK. 

National Health Service (NHS)

Your General Practitioner (GP) is your local, family doctor. This is who you see in a nonemergency if you feel unwell (physically and mentally), want a prescription, sexual health advice, or referring to a specialist doctor at the hospital. You must be registered with the GP before you can make an appointment. Registration is quick, easy and free and you should do it as soon as you arrive.

There is a GP Practice on campus you can register with if you live locally in Stoke-on-Trent. If you live further away you can find your nearest GP online.

If you think you need to see a specialist at the hospital, then you need to go to your GP first to arrange this. In an emergency you should call 999 for an ambulance, or go to the nearest Accident and Emergency (A&E) department t the nearest hospital.