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During your time at University you will be living locally for the majority of the year.  Therefore, it is important that you register with a local GP as soon as possible and not wait until you are unwell.  It is particularly important if you have a long term condition such as asthma, mental ill health diagnosis or diabetes, or require medication.  Your new doctor will be able to liaise with your usual hospital consultant if necessary and in certain instances ensure a referral to local specialist support.  During the holidays you can return to your home GP and be seen as a temporary patient as needed.

Frequently asked questions:

Registering with a local GP

Students moving to Chester and Warrington are strongly advised to register with the local GP service.

Clarification on roles of members of the Medical Centre team:

  • Doctor – Qualified General Practitioner.  Can diagnose, manage, treat and refer to secondary care.
  • Nurse Clinician or Nurse Practitioner – completed master’s level training including prescribing and clinical examination.  Can diagnose, manage, treat and refer to secondary care.
  • Practice Nurses – specialise in Long Term Conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease
  • Treatment room nurses – perform certain tasks such as vaccinations, dressings, contraception reviews, travel advice
  • Health Care Assistant – supports the nursing time by carrying out a defined list of tasks, including injections, ECGs, dressings, blood pressure and other tests.
  • Phlebotomist – performs blood tests

Practice Information
Each medical practice will have their own website with full information about the practice and services provided.

Some GP’s offer a service called Patient Access meaning you can book appointments, order prescriptions and view your medical records via an app.  E-Consult is another valuable tool as you have access to a virtual GP who can advise on a variety of issues.  Visit the GP website for more information.

Why might a GP practice ask “are you a student?"

They don’t do this to discriminate or to treat you differently. In some practices there is a nurse-led service for the students. New patients are triaged to the correct person.

Why does a GP practice ask you for details of your problem?

This is to prioritise problems and ensure patients are seen by the correct person at the correct time. You don’t always need to see a doctor. In a large team of clinical staff it is often more appropriate to see a Nurse or Nurse Practitioner, or even someone outside of the practice, for example, the local pharmacist. In West Cheshire there is a service provided by the pharmacies called Pharmacy First.

Why might a GP practice offer you a nurse appointment?

The Nurse Practitioner is very experienced in providing assessment and treatment for a full range of medical conditions and offers advice and support in all areas of health and well-being. In addition a Nurse Practitioner can usually prescribe medication for a full range of medical conditions.

Why is everyone offered a Chlamydia test?

There is a screening campaign in West Cheshire which aims to reduce the prevalence of Chlamydia in the community. This is why all young people aged 16-25 are offered a test even if no symptoms are evident and you are attending the practice concerning another issue.

I’m a residential student, what about my registered GP back home?

Students are strongly advised to sign up with a local GP. You can still use your home GP when you return home during term breaks and the summer as GP’s are obliged to register you as a temporary resident.

What to do when the GP practice is closed

Out of hours – When the practice is closed if you require urgent medical assistance and cannot wait until the surgery re-opens, please call 111. Calls to NHS 111 service are free from landlines and mobiles. Ambulances and A&E should be for Accidents and Emergencies only. Chest pains and/or shortness of breath constitute an emergency. Call 999.

What about other vaccinations?

It is recommended that you are up to date with all other vaccinations. You can speak to your GP about this. 

Course Vaccinations and Medical Check

Some of our courses may require you to have vaccinations, or provide documented evidence of immunisation against Measles, Rubella, Tuberculosis (TB), Chicken Pox and Shingles (Varicella Zoster Virus).

You may also be required to be vaccinated against the Hepatitis B virus. This is essential under UK Health and Safety Regulations for those who will come into contact with blood or blood products.

If your course requires vaccinations, you will be contacted with further details.

If students choose not to be vaccinated, their learning experiences and choice of work placement may be severely limited – There is currently reference to vaccinations on PASS (our Pre-Arrival Student Site).

Students may also be required to undertake a pre-placement medical check as part of Occupational Health. This is an online process, and students will be contacted with details of how to apply.

Do I need the vaccination for Meningitis?

Young people starting university are strongly encouraged to get the MenACWY vaccine against Meningitis. You may have already received the vaccine at school but it is important you check with your GP.

Please make sure you are protected against this potentially fatal disease. Please also remain vigilant for signs of the disease.

If you recognise any of these symptoms contact your doctor urgently or call NHS 111.