Unity Health

Kimberlow Hill Surgery | Wenlock Terrace Surgery

Understanding How The NHS Works

This section explains how the National Health Service in the UK works and ultimately how Unity Health fits in.

The NHS provides medical treatment to UK residents providing they fit the necessary criteria. This means you must be living in the country for “a settled purpose” for a minimum of 6 months – working or studying or as a spouse or child of someone who is working or studying.

Unity Health is a GP practice providing National Health Services to all of its registered patients, sensitive to the particular needs and problems of the student population. Visitors to the University can access the service in a medical emergency which will not wait until they can get to their own GP. Kimberlow Hill Surgery is located on the University campus and is fully accessible to the disabled.

The service is provided by Alison Hunter, Richard Wilcox, Cathie Dunn, Sirvart Yeretsian, Helen Scammell, Lizzie Pickles and Wendy Wong. They are a long established group practice of doctors, independent from the University and a full a full range of  NHS services are available.

We recommend that you register with a family doctor as soon as possible after arriving at University and we at Kimberlow Hill Surgery are conveniently placed to allow you to do that. You can consult someone at your GP surgery about all health matters except dental problems (for this you will need to register with a dentist). If you require specialist treatment through a hospital, you will need to be initially referred by your GP.

To register with Unity Health you must be able to answer YES to the following statements:

I am a student (or spouse, partner or child of a student) studying at the University of York


I live in University accommodation (on or off Campus)


I live in private accommodation in one of the following postcode areas
YO1, YO2, YO3, YO4, YO5, YO6, YO10, YO23, YO24, YO26, YO31

If you can answer YES to the above and wish to become a patient at the Practice you register online by clicking the ‘Register Online Now!’ button on our home page.

A team of nurses provide advice and treatment for general illness, contraception, sexual health advice, travel, asthma, diabetes and other health concerns. Physiotherapy, counselling and clinical psychology services are also available through the practice. You do not always need to consult with a Doctor as there are Nurse Practitioners at our surgeries who are able to deal with many medical problems and are able to prescribe appropriate medication.

The team of receptionists at our surgeries are there to help you. They are not medically trained so cannot give advice on medical matters, but are highly trained in their roles and therefore may have to ask some questions when you book your appointment. They do not ask these questions out of curiosity, they need to establish which clinician is most appropriate for your needs and sometimes they need to determine how long your appointment needs to be. This means that you are dealt with more effectively and efficiently. Often patients request appointments when there are other ways that we can meet your needs e.g. some repeat prescriptions. Our team of receptionists want to help you.

Registered patients of Unity Health can apply for access to online services. This facility allows the ordering of repeat prescriptions and the ability to make appointments via the internet. There are drop off points in the waiting room for repeat prescription requests and any change of contact details – blank forms are provided for your convenience.  It is important to keep us up-to-date on a telephone or address change in case we need to contact you.  There is also a suggestions/comments box too – we welcome your feedback, so please take the time to give us any ideas or comments you wish to make.

If you have any difficulties with any aspects of the service you have received, please contact:
Mrs Louise Johnston, Managing Partner, by writing to her at the Kimberlow Hill Surgery, phoning 01904 754928 or emailing [email protected].

Your doctors and nurses are happy to discuss any health concerns you may have, but there are alternative ways of managing your health too, please use the NHS when you need it but use it appropriately.

Many everyday ailments like sore throats and sneezes can be easily treated at home with a well stocked medicine cabinet. Eating healthily and taking regular exercise can also play a huge part in keeping well. Click here for a link to a section on ‘Leading a Healthier Lifestyle’.

Pharmacists are qualified health care professionals and can offer health advice and remedies for a whole range of illnesses without an appointment. For example, if you suffer from minor aliments such as a cough, cold or mild symptoms (i.e. headache, nausea or diarrhoea), you could seek advice from the pharmacy – see details of local pharmacies on our website.

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day should you need advice, information or simply want to check whether you need to see a health care professional. Just dial 111.

You should contact your GP if advised to do so by your pharmacist or NHS 111. If you need to seek advice outside of normal surgery hours there is an ‘out of hours’ service run by GPs and highly skilled nurses. The number for the ‘out of hours’ service is available by calling your usual surgery.

A walk-in centre is located in York Hospital. The Centre is open every day between 8am to 6pm and can deal with a range of minor injuries and ailments.

A&E services should be used to treat the most serious medical cases. Remember that Accident and Emergency departments are not an alternative to visiting a GP or accessing any other service; it will not save you time if you have a minor ailment as staff treat the most serious cases first.

It is important to note, however, that up to a quarter of all 999 calls received do not require an emergency response. Please help us to help you by using the service responsibly. Lives could be put at risk if ambulances are used to deal with non-emergency cases.

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