Health and wellbeing tour

Here you will find an online version of our Health and Wellbeing Tour, explaining how to use key health care services in the Bloomsbury area.

Here in the Student Support and Wellbeing team, we understand that coming to university is full of lots of new information needed to be digested, including local health and wellbeing services. This is why we developed this Health and Wellbeing Tour.

Developed in collaboration with The Hive, this tour provides new students with crucial information about the health and wellbeing services available in and around UCL's Bloomsbury campus.

Students can complete the tour by themselves or in small groups of six or less in their own time.

Starting point

The tour begins in the Main Quad of UCL's Bloomsbury campus, the centre point of UCL in the heart of London.

Stop 1

From the main campus, on to the first stop which is University College London Hospital (UCLH).

Here in the UK, the health care system is run by the National Health Service (NHS), which provides health support to all citizens on the basis of need, not the ability to pay. The NHS should be fully available to all students - here are some points to consider:

  • International (non-EU/EEA/Swiss) students access the same services provided by the NHS, by having paid the International Health Surcharge (IHS). This forms part of your visa application.
  • EU/EEA/Swiss students can access the same services provided by the NHS and are not required to pay the IHS.

Medical support is provided in many different ways by the NHS. One of the most important aspects of NHS care is Accident and Emergency (A&E), such as the one here at UCLH.

Accident and Emergency (A&E)

Referred to as the Emergency Room (ER) in some countries, Accident and Emergency departments can be found in most hospitals in the UK. A&E is a service used to treat urgent and life-threatening cases. This may include chest pains and physical injuries.

In a medical emergency, you should call 999 to speak with the UK's emergency services. If urgent medical attention is required, the emergency services will send an ambulance to your location, and the person needing medical care may be taken to an A&E department for further urgent treatment.

Be sure not to use A&E incorrectly. For example, if you are experiencing a cold or flu-like symptoms, you should first seek medical attention from other NHS services. Keep on reading to find out about these other services in later stops.

Stop 2

The next stop on the tour is Tottenham Court Road. Here you will find lots places of interest, including restaurants and shops, bank branches and pharmacies. For now, we will focus on pharmacies.

If you are experiencing common health problems such as a cold or cough, you may want to consider first visiting a local pharmacy.

A pharmacy is a place that provides medicines and medical advice from fully trained pharmacists. If you have a common health problem, head into your local pharmacy to discuss your symptoms with the pharmacist, who will be able to advise you on the best course of action.

A pharmacy is where you will need to go to get the medication that has been prescribed to you by a doctor. This will normally be after you have visited your GP (see later in the tour for more information on GPs). Pharmacies also offer many medicines over the counter, meaning a prescription from a doctor is not required.

Did you know that many pharmacies also offer sexual health screening? Read on for more on sexual health screening in our next stop.

Stop 3

The next stop on the tour is Mortimer Market Centre sexual health clinic.

Here at the Mortimer Market Centre, you'll be able to access sexual health services close to the main UCL Bloomsbury campus. Mortimer Market offers a variety of services, including:

  • STI check-ups (whether you have symptoms or no symptoms)
  • HIV testing
  • Preventative advice
  • Vaccinations based on risk
  • Emergency medications
  • Contraceptive options
  • C-Card (free condoms available under this scheme for those aged between 18 and 24 years)

The clinic offers appointments as well as walk-in services.

Read more information about the Mortimer Market Centre sexual health clinic on their website.

There are many other sexual health clinics available across London. You can find your nearest clinic on this website.

Stop 4

Our final stop on this tour is the Ridgmount Practice, where you will find a GP (General Practitioner), who is a medical doctor.

This practice provides NHS general practice services close to the UCL campus for general health care, contraceptive services and nursing services such as travel vaccinations.

In the UK, a GP surgery is normally your first point of call if you have started to experience an ongoing health problem. If you are unsure, it is always worth booking to see the GP for full medical advice. Appointments are usually made over the phone or online. Please call your surgery before attending in person. This will help prevent possible transmission of COVID within the NHS.

You can register at Ridgmount Practice if you live in one of the following postcode areas: NW1, NW3*, NW5, NW6*, NW8, EC1, EC2, EC3, EC4, WC1, WC2. N1, N4, N5, N6, N7, N8, N10, N11*, N13, N15, N16, N17, N19, N22, W1, W2, W8*, W10*, W11* SW1, SW3, SW5, SW7.

Not all addresses in postcode areas marked with * are eligible for registration. Contact Ridgmount Practice if you live in one of these areas to confirm whether or not you're eligible to register.

If you do not live in one of the above postcodes, don't worry, as you can still register at a GP surgery near you. You can find your nearest GP surgery on this website.

Read more information about Ridgmount Practice on their website.