Page updated 14 Septpember 2021
Student life can be exciting but can also bring its own stresses, especially if you are living away from home for the first time. Added to this are the challenges of the pandemic. So we’ve compiled this handy guide to help you find NHS and wellbeing services in Reading.
University students can join University of Reading Health Centre
Use NHS Find a GP search tool to find other Reading surgeries.
Many appointments are being offered over the phone due to Covid rules.
Busy surgeries may advise you to try other services first like NHS 111 or pharmacies.
NHS 111 helpline
Call 111 at any time of the day or night if you need medical advice, if you can't get hold of your GP, or you're not sure if your problem is urgent. The service can:
- give simple self-help advice
- arrange for you to speak to a clinician
- book you in to see an out-of-hours GP
- book you an appointment at A&E
- advise how to get help for urgent dental problems
- help you find all all-night local pharmacy
- order an ambulance.
NHS 111 Website
NHS Reading Walk-In Centre, Broad Street Mall
The walk-in service at the centre has been temporarily suspended since 1 April 2021. The permanent GP surgery at the centre is still running, by appointment only.
- help and advice on a range of minor ailments – like sore throats or skin problems
- emergency contraception
- flu or Covid vaccinations (check before you visit, not all pharmacies do these)
- repeat prescription management.
Due to Covid-19, many dentists are reporting limited availability for patients.
University Dental Surgery, behind the University Health Centre, sees NHS patients.
0118 975 9660
Other local NHS dentists
Use the NHS ‘Find a dentist’ search tool to see which are seeing new NHS patients.
Out-of-hours dental services
For emergency dental problems, call 111 to find a local urgent treatment centre
Emotional & Mental Health Support
University of Reading:
Counselling & Wellbeing Team is running video appointments due to Covid-19.
Student Welfare Team: Call or drop in to get advice and support with a range of issues, such as settling in, bullying, drugs or alcohol, of help for victims of violence
Student Support: The college offers free and confidential counselling to students from experienced professionals
NHS Berkshire Talking Therapies
You can self-refer to get help for anxiety, depression, stress or phobias, such as:
- online self-guided therapy courses
- 17-25 'stress less' online video
- Life after Lockdown workshops
- Cognitive behavioural therapy
Call Talking Therapies on 0300 365 2000, or
You can self-refer to this free counselling service for 10-25-year-olds in Reading.
Call 0118 901 5668, or
Sexual Health & Contraception
Visit the Safe Sex Berkshire website for information on how to:
- order a test kit for sexully transmitted infections to be sent to your home
- know your contraception choices
- find emergency contraception
- get advice if you are pregnant
- book an appointment at a sexual health clinic (drop-ins have stopped due to Covid)
- get help and support after a sexual assualt or rape
Call 999, or
Go to Royal Berkshire Hospital’s A&E, Craven Road, Reading, RG1 5AN.
Emergencies can include loss of consciousness, suspected heart attack or stroke, severe breathing difficulties, severe bleeding that doesn't stop and broken limbs.
If you're unsure if your problem is an emergency call 111, the NHS helpline.
Drug & Alcohol Services
Change, Grow, Live is the Reading drug and alcohol service for people aged 18+.
Its drop-in service is closed due to Covid, but it is offering:
- phone appointments
- support group meetings via Zoom
- needle exchange
Call 0118 955 7333.
Charities & Support Groups
Berkshire Women’s Aid (BWA)
Help and support for people experiencing domestic abuse.
Call 0118 950 4003 or
This local LGBT+ charity runs a helpline, groups (currently online) and counselling.
Call 0118 321 9111 or
Young adults arriving from certain countries in the UK are eligible for a simple test from the Royal Berkshire Hospital to check for 'sleeping' tuberculosis.
Visit this hospital webpage to find out more.
Health care costs
People coming to study in the UK from another country may have to pay a 'healthcare surcharge' as part of their student visa application to cover the costs of any NHS hospital care. (Costs don't apply for NHS GP services, which are free for anyone).
Information can be found on this webpage of the UK Government website.
Still unsure how to get help?
Healthwatch Reading can help you find a local service, give you information on your rights, help you make a complaint about your care, or take your feedback to help us campaign for improvements.