NHS (National Health Service)

Telephone 111, in non-emergency situations, if you need medical help that can not wait for an appointment with your GP/family doctor.

Telephone 111 if you need medical advice or health information.

You will be assessed, given advice and directed to local services. Calls to NHS 111 are free from landlines and mobile phones.

NHS Charges

Once registered with a GP, most care in the NHS is free at the time of delivery, with the following exceptions:

  • Prescription charges: currently £8.60 per item.
  • Dentistry is free for full-time students up to their 19th birthday. Thereafter NHS subsidised charges are incurred.
  • Optometry, including glasses and contact lenses.

Students from overseas can register with a GP in the UK and receive free NHS treatment, as long as their course lasts at least 6 months and (for those with a visa) they have an IHS Reference number. However, the assessment or treatment under the NHS of any pre-existing condition, apparent or not apparent, before arrival to the UK will incur charges. Charges depend on what assessments, investigations and procedures are carried out.

Students from the UK on a low income may qualify for help with certain health costs. For further information, see the NHS Choices site for details.


Pharmacists provide free advice on some minor ailments as well as dispense prescriptions. See NHS Choices to locate local pharmacies. For local, late and weekend opening of pharmacies see below.

  • Davies, Hills Road: Monday to Friday until 6.30pm
  • Boots, Petty Cury: Sunday 11am to 5pm
  • Boots, Grafton Centre: Wednesday until 7.30pm, Saturday until 6.00pm, Sunday 11am to 5pm
  • Boots Newmarket Road: Monday - Friday until 8pm, Saturday until 6pm, Sunday 10am to 4pm


Addenbrooke’s Hospital NHS Trust

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road

Telephone: 01223 245 151

Students in the UK on a visa should bring with them their IHS Reference number, visa, passport and College letter of acceptance, when attending Addenbrooke’s hospital.

Hospedia bedside phone system allows you to call a patient in the hospital. Dial 0704 117 0123, followed by the patient's extension number.

Contact the ward directly for information about visiting times and whether flowers can be taken onto the ward.

Emergency Department (A&E, Casualty, ER). The Emergency Assessment Unit will respond immediately to those people who are acutely ill, or have life or limb-threatening problems.

Students with minor, non-life-threatening or non-limb-threatening injuries and illnesses are advised to seek more appropriate alternative medical advice, assessment and treatment elsewhere.

The NHS Blood and Transplant service collects donated blood in England and manages the UK's organ donation system.


Students should use the 999 ambulance service in the case of a genuine life-threatening emergency, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, unconsciousness or serious bleeding.

However, there are a number of other more appropriate options for the less seriously ill or injured, including:

  • Telephoning NHS 111
  • Visiting a local pharmacy
  • Telephoning your GP
  • First aid from the College Nurse 01223 334817 or Porters' Lodge - 01223 334800
  • Cambridge Student Health provides comprehensive advice on health and local health services in Cambridge for students.

NHS Blood and Transplant

This service collects donated blood in England and manages the UK's organ donation system.  Check to see if you are able to give blood here or call their helpline on 0300 123 23 23 23.