Accessing Healthcare


Sometimes it's difficult to know what to do if you're feeling under the weather – do you need some rest, could a pharmacist help or do you need a GP appointment? It's important that you know which services are available and which one you actually need.


A lot of illnesses or symptoms, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, upset stomachs and aches and pains can be treated by using a well-stocked medicine cabinet and getting plenty of rest. So, it's a good idea to get yourself a well-stocked medicine cabinet (or shelf, or bag!) You can also take a look at an online symptom checker.

That said, some illnesses such as meningitis can have similar symptoms to a common cold or a hangover so if you're concerned about your symptoms or they persist don't be afraid to seek help.

Here are the ways you can access professional health care.

NHS 111

You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a life-threatening situation. Free to call from a mobile and landline, NHS 111 can help when you access local urgent health care services. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Pharmacist (Chemist)

Your local pharmacist can give you advice on common illnesses and the medicines you need to treat them. They are highly trained healthcare professionals and most now have private consultation spaces where you can speak to the pharmacist and many are open during the evenings and weekends. Find your nearest Pharmacy.

GP (Doctor)

If you have an illness or injury that won't go away then it's best to make an appointment with your GP. General practitioners (GPs) provide primary and continuing medical care in the community. They also ensure access to GPs also refer patients to hospital clinics for further assessment or treatment and may run specialist clinics within the practice for patients with specific conditions.

They provide a range of services by appointment, including medical advice, examinations, vaccinations and prescriptions. It's really important that you register with a GP so that should you ever need one you can access the service. An appointment with your GP is the best way to access other NHS services you might need (except emergency medicine).

GPs are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week via the out of hours service. You can access this by calling your GP's normal number.

It's quick and easy to register with a GP if you haven't already done so. Find your nearest GP.

Urgent Care/Walk in Centres (soon to be known as Urgent Treatment Centres)

If you need to see a doctor or nurse urgently, but are not an emergency case, you can access healthcare through an urgent care or walk in centre.  The closest to University are:

MRI Walk-In Centre

City Health Centre

Hawthorn Medical Centre

University Occupational Health Service

The University Occupational Health Service offers confidential advice on health issues relating to your studies and general medical advice. They provide assessments to help ensure that health issues are effectively managed during your studies.

Emergency medicine

A&E provides immediate emergency care for people who show the symptoms of serious illness or are badly injured.

It's important to understand that, although there are times when you might need emergency care – most of the time one of the services above can help and the Accident and Emergency department and 999 should only be used in very serious or life-threatening situations.

Emergency Dental Care

If you have a dental emergency and cannot make an appointment with your regular dentist, severe cases can be dealt with at the University's Dental Hospital, which is open to the general public.

Further information

For more information about local NHS and health services see Choose Well Manchester.

If you are suddenly taken ill on university premises, all buildings have a first-aider who can assist you there and then.