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Free health treatment is available on the UK's National Health Service to all staff working in the UK for longer than six months, as well as to all citizens from EU countries and those with reciprocal health agreements.

Registering with a doctor

If you are working for six months or more, you must register with a local doctor (General Practitioner (GP)) within a mile radius of where you live to be eligible for free health care. Lists of doctors are available from local Post Offices and Occupational Health at the University.

  • Register with a doctor as soon as possible.
  • You will receive a National Health Card after a few weeks.
  • Free medical treatment does not apply to visiting relatives, only to your immediate family - spouse and children.

If for any reason you are taken ill and have not registered with a GP, you can go to the Primary Care Emergency Centre (Walk in Centre) at Manchester Royal Infirmary. Open 10am - 10pm.


If appropriate, a doctor may issue you with a prescription. This is medicine which you would collect from a pharmacy. Prescriptions issued by a doctor incur a charge - £7.85 per item at present. If you need to be on continued medication, you may find it cheaper to get a Prescription Pre-payment Certificate. Your doctor will be able to advise you further.

If you are on a low income, you may be eligible to receive help towards the cost of perscriptions, dental treatment and opticians. An HC11 leaflet and form is available at all these service providers, pharmacies and online ( and outlines who is eligible. If for any reason you are taken ill and have not registered with a GP, you can go to the Primary Care Emergency Centre (Walk-in centre) at Manchester Royal Infirmary. It is open Monday to Friday 8.30am - 10pm and at weekends and bank holidays 10am - 10pm.

Medical insurance

Any staff or spouse here for less than six months (and not covered as above) is advised to take out medical insurance unless you are from an EU country or a country with a reciprocal health agreement. It is best to do this in your home country as medical insurance in the UK can be very expensive.

Accidents and emergency

Treatment is free for everyone in the case of accidents and other emergencies via hospital accident and emergency departments, (there may be a small charge in the case of road traffic accidents if you are taken to hospital by ambulance). This also applies to communicable diseases and to mental health problems. In an emergency you should dial 999 and ask for an ambulance. This call is free of charge and can be made from any telephone.


Staff are encouraged to register with an NHS dentist. Always check if the dentist offers NHS treatment (there is a scale of small, fixed charges) as some dentists do not offer this.

Free treatment is available from the Dental Hospital but only with emergency dental problems and you still need to be registered with a dentist.

If you do have a dental emergency you should go to the Dental Hospital (building 41 on the campus map) which is open Monday to Friday. You should go early (from 7.30am) as you may have to queue. Alternatively, you can call the Emergency Dental Hotline 0845 6018529.


Any staff who needs the services of an optician can see any optician of their choice. There is a minimum charge for eye tests. If you are on a low income you may be able to receive help toward the cost of optical treatment. There is an optician based in the Carys Bannister Building (building 70 on the campus map).

Additional University help

The University also operates a free occupational health service. Please note this is not a GP practice and staff are advised to register with a doctor.

  • Health Service for Staff (Occupational Health)
    Waterloo Place, 184 Oxford Road
    9am-5pm (weekdays)
    Tel: +44(0)161 275 2858