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The National Health Service (NHS)

The National Health Service was set up in the UK in 1948 and is now the largest organisation in Europe. It is recognised as one of the best health services in the world by the World Health Organisation. Please see the Eligibility section of our webpages for information on whether you can access the NHS with or without charge.  

The table below provides a summary of the different types of health care available and how you can find services near you.

For…

Further information

General information about health and advice on symptoms of illness

General information on NHS services can be obtained from the NHS Choices website.

You can also use the NHS 111 service, which is a free non-emergency number. Call 111 and speak to a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals. They will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for you.

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

 

Dental treatment

NHS or private dentist

Eye tests

Optician

Advice on common illnesses and minor health problems

Pharmacist

Treatment for non-critical illnesses and injuries without the need for an appointment

NHS walk-in centres

Medical advice, examinations and treatment for illnesses and injuries

General Practitioner (GP)

Critical or life-threatening illnesses and injuries

Accident and emergency (A&E) departments in hospitals