Who should help me when I’m ill?

You may have noticed that when you call to book an appointment our receptionist will ask you if the health concern you have is ‘Something the nurse could help with?’.

The reason for this is to try and ensure that our patients are seen by the correct professional from first contact with us. The receptionist will try to find out the ‘nature of the problem’, with the aim of helping you to waste minimal time in getting to the right appointment.

If you or the receptionist are unsure about who can help, then they will ask the GP who is with them in recpetion every morning, so that an expert opinion advises you immediately. The GPs won’t give medical advice over the phone at this point or do a consultation, but they will guide you to an appropriate clinician, which might also include a pharmacist or dentist, as many people phone to book a GP appointment for toothache, or conjunctivitis, when these can best be dealt with elsewhere.

An alternative to booking by phone is to book online of course, and if you are interested in this option just apply for the PIN number required, via our website. It is much more convenient than sitting in a queue of people waiting for us to get to your call.

Our phones ring constantly in the morning, so it helps us a lot if you can be brief and tell us the nature of the problem immediately eg ‘pill check up’, or ‘mental health’, and can be flexible around appointment timing options please, as we have a very large list size of patients, and not enough NHS funding for more staff (despite campaigning constantly for better funding for young people’s healthcare).

We always do our best to get you to the right appointment first time, it doesn’t always work, but our intentions are good, and your support is appreciated.

If your problem is a medically urgent one, then please state this and why and we will always see you the same day.

If you need a certificate, then please speak to our office team first, Option 2. You may not need an appointment.

Please don’t use A&E unless it really is an emergency eg broken bone, collapse etc, as the Out of Hours GP is available 24/7, just phone our usual number. A&E is under strain nationally, and we should try to keep it for what it is designed for please.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and understand our system. We are here to help!


A Very Peculiar Practice… or is it?


I prefer to think of it as a unique and special GP Practice; after all I have worked at Students’ Health for 25 years!!

Nursing and GP colleagues in other practices have been heard to say at every possible opportunity……. “That must be a doddle, looking after students. They are all so healthy! Nice little job with long holidays!”

I say “come and work a day with us and you will be amazed at what we do!”

We experience the rich diversity of students and their lives, and love interacting with them.

 Our working days are unpredictable; from critical to chronic medical situations, chaotic to highly organised patients, all needing an individual response to meet their needs at that point in their lives!

Young people are the future and deserve the best care that we can offer them. 

Health education as in educating how to look after themselves and make good lifestyle choices not just a “sticking plaster service”.

Enabling our patients to be well informed, learn about and find the right contraceptive method.

The University of Bristol Students’ Health Service is a leading edge primary care practice with highly qualified and experienced staff.

The nurses may not deal with many pressure sores or leg ulcers but when it comes to knowing about contraception and sexual health we certainly know our condoms!

Nursing Team

Consists of 9 nurses including 2 Healthcare Assistants and all have their specialist areas such as:

Smoking cessation

Asthma / allergy

Nurse prescribers


Sexual Health and contraception

Mental health

Eating Disorders

Deliberate Self Harm


What can we offer you?

Great, modern facilities

Warm and reassuring welcome

A genuinely patient centred approach based on your individual needs

We really listen and won’t judge you, whatever you come with we have probably seen it before!

Practical support




 What can you do to help us help you?

  • Register with Students’ Health Service when you arrive in Bristol, don’t leave it until you are feeling ill or in crisis
  • Keep your appointments and arrive on time

      We have  a wide variety of appointment times available – early morning, lunchtime, evening and Saturday morning

  • Come and see us before a crisis develops
  • Understand that we will always strive for excellent clinical care, even in difficult circumstances
  • Be aware of other students’ needs, these may have to take priority if someone is seriously ill
  • Look out for each other, especially if your friends are ill
  • Our service is confidential so be honest with us

And most importantly of all have a wonderful time at Bristol University, stay safe and healthy

But if you need to……… Come and see us that is what we are here for!