Student Health & Wellbeing Guide

Welcome to Reading! Get the best out of your time at University of Reading or Reading College, by keeping well and knowing where to go if illness or stress strikes.
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Student life can be exciting but can also bring its own stresses, especially if you are living away from home for the first time. So we’ve compiled this handy guide to help you find NHS and wellbeing services in Reading.

Doctors and health advice

University Health Centre, 9 Northcourt Avenue, Reading, RG2 7HE 

0118 987 455

Newly arrived students can register here to ensure they can see a GP during their time in Reading. The health centre will arrange for your medical records to be transferred from your previous doctor’s surgery.

Other local GP surgeries

To find other GP surgeries accepting new patients, use the ‘Find a GP’ search tool on the official NHS website

NHS Reading Walk-In Centre, 1st floor, Broad Street Mall, Reading, RG1 7QA

0118 902 8300

Drop in between 8am-8pm every day (including Bank Holidays) if you can’t wait to see to see your own GP, or if you are not yet registered with a GP, for minor illnesses.

NHS 111 Telephone Helpline

111 outside of normal GP hours if you need medical advice.  Call handlers can give you simple self-help advice, arrange for you to speak to a clinician if needed, book you in to see an out-of-hours GP if you have urgent symptoms, advise you how to get out-of-hours help for dental emergencies, tell you where to find all all-night local pharmacy, or escalate you to emergency services if required.

NHS 111 Website

Pharmacies

Use the Find a Pharmacy search tool on the NHS website to find one nearest to you, including those which are open late for urgent prescriptions.

Visit your local pharmacy to get help and advice on a range of minor ailments and common illnesses – like sore throats, coughs, stomach problems and aches and pains, as well as emergency contraception and advice on safe sex, stopping smoking or cutting down on alcohol. Most pharmacies have consultation rooms for private conversations.

NHS Dentists

The University Dental Surgery, 9 Northcourt Avenue, Reading, RG2 7HE, behind the University Health Centre. Sees NHS and private patients.

0118 975 9660

Other local NHS dentists

Use the ‘Find a dentist’ search tool on the NHS website to see which dental surgeries are accepting new patients.

Out-of-hours dental services

111 to find out where you can get emergency help or how to self-care until your usual dentist is available.

Emotional & Mental Health Support

University of Reading:

Counselling & Wellbeing Team, first floor of the Carrington Building, Whiteknights Campus. The service is open weekdays, except during University closure periods and on Bank Holidays.

0118 378 4216 or email counselling@reading.ac.uk if you want to see a counsellor or mental health adviser.

Life Tools: talks given by university staff and other professionals throughout the year, that students can attend for free, on topics such as mindfulness, nutrition, exercise, relationships, and coping with stress. There is also a Life Tools blog.

Student Welfare Team: Advice and support on a range of life issues, such as settling in, dealing with housemates, bullying, drugs or alcohol, of help for victims of violence or crime.

Reading College:

Counselling is offered by the college for free, from experienced professionals, to help students with a range of issues, such as relationships, bereavement and loss, anxiety and depression, work/study problems, disabilities and eating disorders.

Talking Therapies

0300 365 2000 or visit the website.

You can self-refer to this NHS Berkshire-wide service for anxiety, depression, stress or phobias.  A range of help is offered, including online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and tips on dealing with pressure and exams. Your GP may also refer you to Talking Therapies if you visit them with mental health issues.

No 5:

This is a free counselling service for 10-25-year-olds in Reading. You can self-refer or be referred by a teacher, GP or social worker. Sessions are run 4-9pm Mon-Fri to avoid clashes with study or work. There is a waiting list, but very vulnerable clients are given priority.

Text: 07984 357551, call 0118 901 5668, email info@no5.org.uk or visit the website.

Sexual Health & Contraception

The Florey Clinic, 21a Craven Road, Reading, RG1 5LE (near the main Royal Berkshire Hospital building)

Open until 7am-7pm most weekdays, and also on Saturday mornings

Drop in to this free NHS walk-in service for STI testing & contraception, including emergency contraception. The Florey also provides ongoing care and treatment for people living with HIV.

Details of The Florey and other sexual advice can all be found on the website Safe Sex Berkshire.

Where to find emergency contraception

Search for your nearest pharmacy or health service that offers emergency contraception by using this search tool on the NHS website.

Life-Threatening Emergencies

999 or Go to Royal Berkshire Hospital’s Emergency Department, Craven Road, Reading, RG1 5AN.

The emergency department gives priority to patients with very serious and life-threatening conditions, such as loss of consciousness, suspected heart attack or stroke, severe breathing difficulties or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped.

If you are unsure if your problem is serious, you can phone 111, the NHS helpline, which will tell you if you need to go to A&E or give advice on alternatives services that can help you.

Drug & Alcohol Services

Change, Grow, Live is the Reading drug and alcohol service for people aged 18+, at 127 Oxford Rd, Reading, RG1 7UY

0118 955 7333 or drop in, no appointment needed.

Charities & Support Groups

Berkshire Women’s Aid (BWA)

0118 950 4003 or visit the website.

BWA can listen and give you information and options about housing, legal, financial, council and other services related to domestic abuse. You can also get help with somewhere safe to stay if you are too frightened to stay at home. BWA also provide a drop in every Tuesday on the 3rd floor of Reading Central Library from 10am-3pm, if you want information or are concerned about your welfare.

SupportU

118 321 9111 or visit the website.

This Reading LGBT+ charity runs a drop-in centre and support groups, including Trans* Support Group, the LGBT+ Youth Group (Affinity), monthly TV/CD Social Group, and regular sexual health and HIV testing.

Reading Services Guide: This is an online directory run by Reading Borough Council of local charities and organisations, including those that offer information, advice and support on health, wellbeing, disabilities, support for carers, debt and finance advice and more.

International students

TB testing

Young adults arriving from certain countries to live in the UK are eligible for a simple blood or skin test to check for 'sleeping' tuberculosis. Treatment does not affect any right to remain in the UK. The service is provided by the Royal Berkshire Hospital. Find out more at https://www.royalberkshire.nhs.uk/wards-and-services/tuberculosis.htm 

Health care costs

People coming to study from a non-EU country may have to pay an ‘NHS surcharge’ for using hospital serves. Information can be found on this webpage of the UK Government website.

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