Healthcare in the UK
Primary health care is free to all persons arriving in the UK. Set up
in 1948, the National Health Service, or NHS as it is more commonly
known, was established to provide healthcare for all citizens, based on
need, not the ability to pay.
The NHS is funded by the taxpayer and managed by the Department of Health.
Private medical care is available, but it is best to check your company’s medical policy to ensure that costs are covered.
The TASIS Health Centre has lists of names and numbers of local Physicians, Hospitals and Specialists. You can also visit www.nhs.uk or www.specialistinfo.com and use their search functions for a list of contacts in your area.
The information contained in the Local Physician Offices document is for informational purposes only and does not reflect any type of recommendation from the TASIS Health Centre, Administration, Faculty, Parents’ Council or its members.
24-hour confidential nurse-led health advice over the phone
You can call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 for confidential health advice and information 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. The lines are staffed by nurses and professional advisors both inside and outside normal GP surgery hours. NHS Direct can offer you information on:
* What to do if you or a family member feels ill
* Self care for particular health conditions such as coughs and scalds
* Local health services, such as doctors, dentists or out-of-hours pharmacies
* Self-help or support organisations.
They can help you decide if you need to see a doctor and help reduce the worry of being ill or caring for someone else who is unwell. There is a minimal cost when using NHS Direct.
NHS Direct Online can help you find your local GP, dental, pharmacy and optician services and also offers a self-help guide. This guide is usually also available in the back of the Thomson Local directory.
DOCTORS / PHYSICIANS
As soon as you arrive, you should register with a local doctor/physician known as a GP (general practitioner). As stated above, the service provided by the GP is free. All referrals for specialist treatment or hospital care must be made through the GP, whether for treatment through the NHS or under private medical care.
In the case of emergencies, go directly to the closest A&E (Accident & Emergency) hospital. Not all hospitals have A&E departments, so check with your GP to find the closest one to you.
Call 999 in case of an emergency and to call an ambulance. There is no charge for emergency care.
CHEMISTS / PHARMACISTS
Prescriptions for medications are dispensed at most High Street chemists/pharmacies. There is a standard charge for each item dispensed. If you require a large number of medications, it is possible to pay an annual or quarterly fee which cover the cost of all prescriptions given.
You will also need to register with a local Dentist. The majority of dentists only offer private dental care. There are a small number of dentists offering coverage under the NHS, but a charge is still made for all adults treated.
All High Street opticians provide eye tests - there is no need to consult your GP. The charge for an eye test is set by each optician.