If you’re travelling to the UK to study, it’s important to make sure you have access to quality medical treatment in place. Our healthcare membership app means you can have round-the-clock access to quality care – including home visits – so you can spend more time to focus on settling in while we unlock a range of exclusive benefits.

For those travelling to the UK for their studies, there are many things to consider – from visa applications to accommodation, flights, certification – a challenging course in its own right.

Chances are, however, you may also need access to medical treatment during your stay in the UK, whether it’s for routine health checks or to access treatment, which can prove stressful when you’re living abroad.

So, how, amidst the tumultuous list of juggling studies, settling in, and moving away from home, can you find time for respite? …

Getting access to 24/7 healthcare

Our membership service has been designed to facilitate peace of mind – for parents and for students living away from home.

Put simply, membership with Doctorcall means you have quality healthcare at your disposal 24/7, which is available across the whole of London.

If you’re an international student studying in the UK, it does not only help to alleviate the stress of arranging medical cover, but it is also designed to take the stress out of having to navigate long waiting periods of time to receive care, while streamlining the way you have access to it.

The NHS is excellent and provides care free at the point of delivery, but it is also undergoing intense pressures, with patients often experiencing long waiting times.

The last few weeks especially have shown us just how easily illnesses can spread around the world – therefore the importance of making sure you have access to affordable care cannot be undervalued.

While these things can be unpredictable, you can still make sure you have a safety net in place, for peace of mind and so you don’t have to worry about when you will next be able to see a doctor.

Fast access to home visits

In between studying and juggling other commitments, however, it can often become easy to neglect your health.

But having access to home visits can help to alleviate this pressure and help maintain your health as a top priority.

Signing up for our Visiting Doctor Membership means you can rest assured you have appropriate medical cover in place as well as a range of exclusive benefits such as home visits available at your fingertips.

This means you can book for one of our expert doctors to come to you at short notice in the comfort of your home, whether it’s for a routine health check or more urgent problem.

To make things easier, all your exclusive membership benefits – home visits, priority bookings, discounts on appointments, 24/7 care – have been packaged into a unique app, Doctorcall.

Using the app means our members get instant access to a range of benefits, including:

  • Priority bookings for our renowned visiting doctor service
  • Exclusive 30% discount on all home visits, GP consultations, telephone consultations, and health screens/check-ups at our London clinics
  • 24 hours a day, 7 days a week access to care throughout the whole of London
  • Round-the-clock virtual access to healthcare

So, how do I sign up?

The Doctorcall app is a unique platform granting members priority access to our renowned visiting doctor service, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the whole of London.

For students travelling to the UK from abroad, membership with Doctorcall is designed to give peace of mind and quick access to medical treatment. This means you can bypass long waiting times and rest assured that care can always remain a push of a button away.

At a cost of only £20 per month, our visiting doctor membership is a considerably less expensive way of making sure that your health remains priority and care is always available, whenever you need it.

DoctorCall is available for download on all Android and iOS devices.

To find out more visit

First things first, if you have symptoms similar to Coronavirus (CAVID-19) or suspect you have it, or if you have visited China, in particular the Wuhan district in the past 14 days, please call NHS 111 instead of attending a medical clinic.

There are many concerns around the world about the rapidly spreading coronavirus that emerged in China in December. Scientists are still scrambling to understand just how it started. Known as COVID-19, the new virus has already caused more deaths in China than the SARS pandemic of 2002-03 – and there have been new cases confirmed in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, North America, and the Middle East. A global health emergency has been declared by the World Health Organization (WHO), and in England there have been 8 cases confirmed so far. But what exactly is the coronavirus and how can we protect ourselves from the outbreak?

What is the coronavirus and is it new?

According to the WHO, coronaviruses make up a large family of viruses that are transmitted between animals and people. These viruses can cause mild to moderate respiratory diseases like the common cold as well as more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

There are other examples of coronaviruses that have caused devastating severe symptoms around the world previously, such as the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and the 2002-2003 SARS pandemic in China.

What we are currently hearing about is a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) – a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. Originating in Wuhan, China, the new coronavirus had not previously been detected before December 2019. It has since been spreading around the world by international travellers, including in parts of Europe.

The new 2019-nCoV belongs to the same family of viruses as SARS-CoV, but it is a different strain of the virus.

What are the symptoms of the new coronavirus?

Like with other respiratory illnesses, the new coronavirus can cause mild symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever. The main symptoms also include a high temperature and shortness of breath.

It can, however, prove more severe for some people, in some cases leading to pneumonia and breathing difficulties. It is in more rare situations that the virus can also be fatal. Those with pre-existing conditions or who are older seem to be more vulnerable to the more severe symptoms, with recovery in most cases depending on the strength of their immune system.

Currently, there are no vaccines for the new coronavirus and antibiotics cannot be used to treat it.

How, then, can we protect ourselves?

The new virus can be transmitted from human to human, usually following close contact with someone who is infected.

We don’t yet know just how dangerous it is, but though there is currently no vaccine, there are things you can do to help prevent it from spreading, such as:

  • Covering the mouth and nose with a tissue (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Bin used tissues straight away!
  • Make sure you wash your hands with soap and water often, or use hand sanitiser gel
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell

Scientists are still trying to understand how contagious the virus is and how exactly it spreads, so in the absence of a current cure and more substantial data it’s important to follow these simple steps to give yourself as much protection as you can!

Should I see a doctor if I have a cough?

If you have travelled to the UK from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, or Malaysia in the last two weeks and are experiencing cough, fever or shortness of breath, the NHS advises that you call NHS 111, even if your symptoms are mild. You should also make sure you stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people.

Should we be worried in the UK?

Though 99% of cases remain in China, there are currently cases in 28 other countries around the world.

The WHO has declared the outbreak to be a public health emergency, but there is still much that can be done to halt the outbreak.

The government in the UK has raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. But the risk to individuals at present remains low.

Concentrating our efforts on hygienic practices remain, at present, our best weapon against the novel coronavirus!

By Nick Syrett, Senior Physiotherapist, Doctorcall, St Ann's Square, Manchester

If your January 1st started with great intentions for more exercise this year with some serious goals in the calendar, please consider a rounded, balanced approach. A full on 100mph approach to New Year’s resolutions can often end up in frustration and missed targets. It is an annual trend for me to see people at the end of January/early February with overload injuries. To avoid some of the usual pit falls, please consider this...

Build steadily

Depending on what has gone before it and when you were last exercising, build your base slowly.

If you are running more and aiming for a particular distance, the 10% rule has stood the test of time. Increase your running volume by 10% per week. This will also mean a slow build up to start with. If you’re starting from zero miles, then look up the many couch to 5km apps/programmes and consider joining up with a group who are doing the same.

Fuel it right

If your exercise levels have gone up, you’ll need the right type and right amount of food/energy to sustain it. Balanced meals ticking as many food groups as you can manage will provide the fuel. Getting the quantity right to achieve your goals is a challenge.

Buddy up

It’s much easier to have an exercise buddy when you’re not feeling it during the dark winter months. Commit to a schedule and guilt each other into sticking to it.

Enjoy it

Pick some exercise or styles during your week that are enjoyable or fun. You will struggle to stick at something you don’t enjoy. If running, mix up the distances, paces and surfaces/gradients if possible.

Mix it up

The body craves variety and balance. Different types of movement in different directions is excellent for building all round muscular fitness and protection for the body. If running is your thing, then cross training (or doing something other than running that still gets your heart rate up) varies the normal direction of travel to help the body cope with the extra stresses. A good idea to avoid running on consecutive days.

Chill out time

If your exercising hard and “smashing it” amongst a busy work and maybe family life, your body is on the go ALL of the time. Creating some specific time to zone the brain out via mindfulness/Yoga/relaxation sessions will help to balance the chemicals produced in greater quantities when going full speed. Too much of these aren’t helpful. Offsetting them is good for your physical and mental health. Swapping exercise time for sleep time can be counterproductive. Sleep is important. Structure your week smartly and allow time to recover from hard exercise sessions.

You will need the right amount of flexibility and strength to achieve the best performance and avoid injury. Start slowly and your body will often adjust naturally to some unfamiliar moves. If you are embarking on a BIG challenge you will need to make time to increase all of the other factors mentioned in this article. You can’t really skimp and get away with it. Proper planning and preparation are key.

Good luck with your exercise goals and targets this year!!

Me? I’m aiming to build up my longer fell runs this year with a view to some bigger and bolder races next year…

City Physio at Doctorcall

City Physio at Doctorcall has 2 clinics conveniently situated in Manchester city centre offering appointments from 8am-8pm, Monday to Friday. Sessions can be booked online or email for further information.

Details of the session available here

Click here to book an appointment today >>

January is on record as being the most depressing month of the year. Everywhere you look, people are coughing, sneezing, battling the horrors of being too hot and too cold at the same time. In the office, colleagues are dropping like flies, chocolate wrappers have been swapped for tissues. Christmas cheer is a long lost relative, the sort of which could license its own documentary series. As the old adage goes however, the new year means time for a fresh start. So how can you make sure you can protect your employees’ health this winter?

As we usher in a new decade, it stands to reason that we must inadvertently also usher in the season for colds and new ailments. If you are one of the lucky few who managed not to get ill this Christmas – or take your illness into the new year – be not surprised if you are heralded a wonder and recruited by the scientific community for research.

New data in fact, published in January last year, shows that workers take on average 53% more sick days in January than any other month of the year.

According to research from CharlieHR (HR software for small businesses) the number of sick days taken in January 2017 equalled 1,248 – with January followed by February and then March in terms of the number of sick days taken.

The main causes for these, according to a 2018 report published by the Office for National Statistics, are minor illnesses such as coughs and colds.

In 2017, more than 34 million working days were lost as a result.

Illnesses such as colds and flu however can be avoided. They can also easily spread through the air and by close personal contact (through a handshake, sharing a phone, touching a doorknob) – meaning they can rapidly spread in the workplace.

How can you protect your employees?

Making sure you wash your hands, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, and getting a flu jab can all help you keep you safe during the cold winter days, where colds are known to run wanton.

If you find yourself a subject of the infamous trilogy of symptoms caused by the common cold (runny nose, sore throat, coughing), you may also find comfort in getting plenty of rest and sleep and drinking plenty of fluids.

Short-term sickness absence at work, however, are often unavoidable – in fact, illnesses and medical appointment are the most commonly reported reasons for missing work.

During the cold and flu season especially, there is a dramatic spike in absenteeism rates.

So how can you help to keep your employees’ health in check and keep company downtime to a minimum?

On-site company doctor

At Doctorcall, we provide a range of fast, affordable private GP services designed to target this.

Our company doctor service – provided in-house – is a popular way of providing employees with access to regular GP consultations at work.

This means that staff can be seen on-site without having to carve out time to see their doctor outside of the office – helping them to gain access to quick, quality private healthcare while minimising time spent away from work.

Not only do we help set up a consulting room at your office, but our easy online booking process for staff also makes it easier for them to make their own appointments.

They can benefit from access to on-site company doctor sessions as often as you like – with access to confidential, regular health checks.

Reducing Absenteeism with unlimited appointments

For smaller companies, our private GP membership scheme – a popular staff benefit – can provide a more cost-effective route to help reduce absenteeism in the workplace.

It provides as a less expensive and more popular alternative to Private Medical Insurance (PMI)
Since arrangements are made at a local clinic and same day appointments are generally available, it provides a way of securing rapid treatment with minimal disruption to work.

By reducing time taken off work by staff to see their own GP, our membership scheme can help maintain business continuity and productivity – while making sure employees can stay happy and healthy.

A popular benefit for employees

Our GP Clinic Membership scheme offers staff access to quality medical treatment at a conveniently located private clinic for as little as £2.79 per week.

Members receive access to unlimited private GP consultations and a range of exclusive benefits.
Come talk to us

Many across the UK and worldwide will use the new year to mark a fresh start, putting health at the top of the priority list. If you want to find out how to keep your employees healthy this winter, take a look at how you can benefit from our unique private services – including access to our exclusive membership scheme and on-site company doctor.


In the UK, there are around 3,200 new cases of cervical cancer every year, or 9 every day. If diagnosed at an early stage, there is a high chance that it can be cured. Thousands of cases of cervical cancer are prevented every year due do screening – yet millions of women across the country are still skipping their smear tests. Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, which takes place 20-26 January, helps to shed a light on the importance of routine checks.

Cervical cancer is the second-most common cancer in women under thirty-five, with thousands of women in the UK diagnosed with the disease each year. Cervical cancer however is highly preventable, with the recent introduction of HPV vaccination programmes hoping to cut the number of cases down even further. This has caused something of a revolution in the medical world as it provides the first effective prevention against cervical cancer.

The HPV vaccine is available on the NHS but only for girls and only within a very limited age group.

Unfortunately, HPV (the Human Papilloma Virus) is both very infectious and very harmful – in 1983, German virologist Harold zur Hausen discovered that HPV causes cervical cancer. Since then it has been established that testing for the presence of HPV offers a better screening test for cervical cancer than the “Pap” test (or “Pap” smear, as it’s commonly known in the US).

The “Pap” test – which gets its name from Dr George Papanicolaou, who invented it in the 1920s alongside Dr. Aurel Babeș, is a procedure that uses a small brush or spatula to gently remove cells from the cervix so they can be examined under a microscope for cervical cancer or cell changes that may lead to cervical cancer. It is not a test for cancer but to pick up its early signs.

Looking out for symptoms

Cervical cancer is caused when abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix (the entrance to the womb from the vagina) grow in an uncontrolled way.

It often has no symptoms in its early stages.

If symptoms do occur, the most common tend to be unusual vaginal bleeding, which can occur during/after sex, in between periods or after the menopause.

Abnormal bleeding doesn't mean that you definitely have cervical cancer, but it’s worth having it investigated by a doctor so they can determine the cause.

The HPV test

In England, the Cervical Screening Test it is offered to women aged 25 to 49 every three years and those aged 50 to 64 every five years.

Though a similar procedure to a Pap smear test, it is designed to look for HPV infection (using the sample of cells taken from the cervix).

A centralised NHS cervical screening programme has existed in the UK since 1988, but HPV screening has only recently been introduced in England and Wales – and is yet to be rolled out across Scotland and Ireland.

There was a review to lower the age at which cervical screening test is offered to women in the UK, following the publicity surrounding the death of reality television star Jade Goody from cervical cancer in 2009. Evidence however suggested that it was not as effective in women under 25 years old, as it’s still common to have changes in the cells of your cervix when you’re younger.

The importance of routine health checks.

More than 3,200 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year in the UK; and according to charity Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, around 99.7% of all cases are caused by high-risk HPV. Nearly 900 women die from the disease annually.

Figures, however, show that millions of women are skipping their smear tests.

In fact, a survey by Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust of more than 2,000 women in the UK revealed this figure to be 1 in 4 women – rising to 1 in 3 among those aged 25 to 29.

Embarrassment about body shape is constantly cited as a reason why many choose to avoid smear tests, while a lack of understanding about the importance of screening still permeates.

Cervical smears to test for cancer, however, are an effective screening programme if they are carried out frequently enough.

In most countries apart from the UK however, the recommended frequency of testing is once per year, and that is what we recommend in our clinics.

Come talk to us

At Doctorcall, we offer routine health checks for women in our private clinics on Harley Street in London, and St Ann’s Square, Manchester, where we have advanced on-site facilities for testing and diagnosis to give prompt results.

Embarrassment should never, ever get in the way, and our experienced doctors will always be at hand to make sure that your visit is as comfortable as possible and so you are fully aware of what the procedure will involve from start to finish.

We can also provide advice on the choice of HPV treatment. It is believed that with HPV vaccination the risks of cervical cancer and the need for smear tests may be eradicated altogether.

To find out more about our Well-Woman Screen service or if you want to know more about cervical smear tests or HPV Vaccination visit or call us on 0344 257 0345.