Hospitals and Emergencies
Be Prepared for Emergencies
The emergency services number in the UK is 999. Dial this if you need urgent medical assistance. An operator will ask you which service you require, and you should ask for an ambulance. You will be connected to an emergency medical dispatcher, and you should tell them about the condition of the patient and where he or she is, especially the street name. The dispatcher may tell you what to do until the ambulance arrives. If the person is badly injured and needs to go to hospital, an ambulance will be dispatched.
When you arrive at hospital in an emergency, you should go to the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department. These are open 24 hours a day, and treat patients in need of emergency treatment. Remember that you should only use A&E departments for serious illnesses or injuries. Emergency treatment is free to everyone, regardless of where they are from. However, if you are not eligible for full NHS treatment, follow-up treatment may not be free.
It is important to note that some hospitals in the UK do not have A&E departments, so it is important to find out where your nearest one is. You can find a list here and you should make sure that you don’t wait until there is an actual emergency to find your nearest.
Hospital Referrals from Your Doctor
If you see your doctor at their surgery, they may refer you on for hospital treatment. If this happens, you will usually be given an appointment to see a consultant. Depending on the problem, you'll either stay overnight in the hospital (as an "In-Patient") or just visit in the day (as an "Out-Patient"). Hospital treatment will be free if you are entitled to full NHS treatment, although waiting lists are notoriously long.
If Anything Goes Wrong
If you need medical treatment whilst studying in the UK you will normally be entitled to treatment on the NHS. For the most part you can expect to receive a good level of care, although many hospitals are extremely busy and you may have a long wait for non urgent attention. In the unusual situation that you are harmed because something goes wrong with your medical treatment you may be able to make a claim for compensation. Medical Negligence London is a team of solicitors specialising in medical negligence compensation claims who can help you. They are part of the law firm SheridanLaw who are solicitors in Kingston who act for clients throughout London and across the country in medical negligence claims.