Register with a doctor and a dentist

It’s important to be able to speak to a local doctor in case you are ill during your time at university. As soon as possible after you arrive, register with a local GP surgery and a dentist.

Register with a doctor and a dentist as soon as you can when you arrive in Leeds. It’s important that you know who to see if you get ill and that you’re able to book an appointment as soon as you can.

Register with a General Practitioner (doctor)

A General Practitioner or GP is a doctor who provides general medical treatment.

The location where a GP regularly sees their patients is called a GP surgery (or medical centre). GP surgeries have set opening times and are not usually open at the weekend. 

The area served by a GP surgery is also called a ‘catchment area’. Surgeries normally accept new patients within their catchment area. In order to speak to a GP, you need to register as a patient with a GP surgery (or medical practice) first.

Where can I register for a doctor?

Most students choose to register to with the Leeds Student Medical Practice. This is the nearest medical practice to the University campus. 

You don’t need to register for the Leeds Medical Practice if you don’t want to. Some GP surgeries offer more services than others and you can register with a surgery that's closer to where you live or better fits your needs. Look up GP surgeries available in Leeds, see what they offer and how they compare.

When you’ve found a GP surgery you’d like to register with:

  • check the surgery website to see if you can register online or

  • call or email the GP surgery and ask to be registered as a patient.

What documents will I need to register?

You do not need proof of ID to register with a GP but we recommend bringing your passport with you. 

How long does it take to register with a GP surgery?

The timings can change depending on the GP surgery you register with.

If you’ve submitted a registration for the Leeds Student Medical Practice, it normally takes around 2 working days to process your registration. However, in September registrations can take longer to process because of the large number of new students arriving in Leeds.

How will I know I’ve been registered?

If you register with the Leeds Medical Student Practice, you will receive an SMS message confirming your registration. The Leeds Medical Student Practice might also contact you by phone if there's anything they need to check so make sure you provide them with a UK mobile number.

If you register with a different GP surgery, ask them how you’ll be notified about your registration.


Register with a dentist

When registering with a dentist you’re not bound to a catchment area. You can choose to register with any dental surgery that's convenient for you. 

NHS dental treatment

If you are entitled to NHS treatment, search for an NHS dentist near you and call a dental practice of your choice to ask if they’re accepting new patients. Dental surgeries will not always have the capacity to take on new NHS patients. You could be asked to join a waiting list or look for a different dentist.

NHS dental care: 

  • does not cover any cosmetic treatments or any other treatment that is not clinically necessary

  • has fixed charges for dental treatment, unless you qualify for dental charge exemption

Private dental care

Registering with a private dental care provider will:

  • get you an appointment quicker then with an NHS practice. 

  • be more expensive. Costs are set by individual dentists and can change from practice to practice. 

  • cover all treatments, including cosmetic ones

Check what is covered in your medical insurance, if you have it. The University of Leeds cannot recommend any private dental care providers.



I’ve registered with a GP surgery, how do I book an appointment with a doctor?

To book an appointment, call your GP surgery. It’s normal sometimes not to be able to get an appointment in the same week.

If you need to see a GP urgently, try to call and book your appointment in the morning, as soon as your GP surgery opens. They’ll be able to check if they’ve had any cancellations and book you an appointment instead.

When you’ve booked your appointment, you’ll get an automated message on your phone with a summary of your booking. If you’re an international student, make sure you have a UK phone number so that you can receive these messages.

I need to see a GP but I’ve not yet registered as a patient

If you’re unwell and think you need to see a doctor, call 111 for advice. This helpline will help you understand:

  • where to get help for your symptoms, if you're not sure what to do

  • how to find general health information and advice

Make sure that you register with a doctor as soon as you can. It’s important that you’re able to speak to a doctor when you’re ill.

I need to order my prescription medicines but cannot speak to a GP

If you take medicine regularly but cannot order them by speaking to a doctor, call 111. An NHS adviser can give you information on:

  • where to get an emergency supply of your prescribed medicine
  • how to get a repeat prescription

Getting a ‘repeat prescription’ means that the doctor has given permission for you to be given a prescription in the future, without first having to make an appointment with them.

Can I register for a GP surgery outside of my catchment area?

The area served by a medical centre is also called a ‘catchment area’. 

Some surgeries might not accept new patients outside of their catchment area. If you want to register with a surgery outside your catchment area, call the surgery and ask if you are accepting any new patients first. Then ask if they can take patients and give information on the area you live in. 

Can I be refused registration?

A GP surgery can refuse to register new patients for specific reasons, find out more about when you can be refused registration.

I need to see a dentist but I’ve not yet registered with a practice

In the case of a dental emergency, call 111 for advice. Find more information on how the 111 service can support you and what you’ll be charged if you need urgent dental treatment.