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 (this stands for general practitioner and is what we call local or family doctors in the UK). 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 non-emergency services by appointment - including medical advice, examinations, medical prescriptions, vaccinations and referrals to other medical specialists. Registering with a GP is also one of the ways you can get a COVID-19 vaccine. It's really important that you register with a GP as soon as you know your term time address 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.

See a map of GPs near campus

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

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.

Register with a dentist

You can find local dentists on the NHS Find a dentist website. Be aware that there is a small additional charge for NHS dental services, and not all dental procedures are covered by the NHS.

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.


There is a fee for eye tests and all eye treatment. Optometry students operate a clinic in the Carys Bannister building during term time, and there are many other opticians around Manchester.

University Occupational Health Service

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

Disability Advisory and Support Service

The University's Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS) offers a range of support to students with disabilities, including those with long term mental and physical health conditions. From software to help you study, to alternative arrangements in exams, the DASS is here to help you access the support you need. If you would like to receive disability support, you will need to register with DASS, which means completing a registration form and providing evidence. The service is confidential and DASS won't share your information unless you give your permission.

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.