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  • Writer's pictureHealthwatch Reading

Student Health & Wellbeing Guide

Updated: Feb 8, 2023

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.

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.


Local doctors

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

Visit, type in your symptoms and get immediate advice.

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.


Use the NHS Find a Pharmacy search tool to find nearest pharmacies, including those open late for urgent prescriptions. Pharmacies can offer:

  • 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.

NHS Dentists

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

Reading College:

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

  • Counselling

Call Talking Therapies on 0300 365 2000, or

Visit the Talking Therapies website.

No 5:

You can self-refer to this free counselling service for 10-25-year-olds in Reading.

Call 0118 901 5668, or

Visit the website.

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

Life-Threatening Emergencies

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

  • prescriptions

  • 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

Visit the website.


This local LGBT+ charity runs a helpline, groups (currently online) and counselling.

Call 0118 321 9111 or

Visit the website.

Other charities

Visit the Reading Services Guide an online directory run by Reading Borough Council of local organisations offering information, advice and support.

International students

TB testing

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.

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