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New students offered vital health advice from their local NHS

Students beginning university life at Edge Hill are being offered useful health advice from the local NHS.

For many students this will be the first time that they have moved away from home, and although it is an exciting time it is really important that they look after their health and follow NHS advice.

Register with a local GP: If, like most students, you spend more time at your college address than your family’s address, It’s really important that you register with a GP practice and for students embarking on a degree at Edge Hill University, there are 15 GP practices in West Lancashire and to find out where your nearest GP practice is visit www.nhs.uk and search ‘how to register with a GP practice’.

For those students living on campus, you may find that your nearest GP practice is Beacon Primary Care, who have a practice onsite at Milton House, 41 Ruff Lane, Ormskirk, L39 4QX, which is on the university campus.

Once you register with your GP, you are then registered for your entire time at University and you do not need to register again whilst studying in West Lancashire.

By registering with a GP practice, you can receive emergency care if you need it, and access health services quickly and easily while studying.

Registering with a GP is especially important if you have an ongoing health condition, such as asthma, diabetes or epilepsy.

You can also visit an NHS Walk-in-Centre/Urgent Treatment Centre if you fall ill when your GP practice is closed. In West Lancashire there are two centres, the Skelmersdale walk-in-centre and the West Lancashire Urgent Treatment Centre, which is based at Ormskirk Hospital, Wigan Road, Ormskirk, L39 2AZ.

These centres are open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week, including all holidays and staff within these centres can treat minor injuries and minor ailments. To access help, visit the centre you would like to use and speak to the receptionist. Patients can book on the day appointments at the Ormskirk centre by calling FREEPHONE NHS 111.

Getting ill during the holidays: If you become unwell when you’re at home or away from university then you can still contact your nearest GP practice to ask for treatment, and you can receive treatment for 14 days.

Register with a dentist: Dental problems can’t be dealt with by doctors, so it is really important that students register with a dentist. You can find a dentist online: www.nhs.uk/Service-Search

Not all treatment is free, even under the NHS. However, you may be able to apply for help with dental costs online: www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/help-with-health-costs/get-help-with-dental-costs

For emergency dental treatment when your dentist is closed, call 0300 1234 010.

Check your vaccinations: There are a series of vaccinations that are available to students. The Men ACWY vaccine, which protects against four different causes of meningitis and septicaemia. This vaccination is available to all 17-and-18-year olds in school, and first-time university students up to the age of 25.

All university and colleges advise their students to be immunised against mumps before beginning their studies. Most children will have had this immunisation as part of their routine childhood MMR vaccine immunisation for mumps, measles and rubella. However, if unsure, please speak to your GP.

Each year over the winter months, the NHS strongly recommends that people protect themselves from the flu, with the annual flu vaccination. This vaccination is especially important for people living with long-term health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes or kidney disease.

Dr Ros Bonsor, GP lead at NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Starting university is an incredibly exciting time, but it is vitally important that students take the time to register with a GP and dentist and ensure that they protect themselves from common illnesses.

“What many students don’t realise is that once you have registered with a GP practice, then you do not have to do so again, even if you go home for summer, Easter or winter holidays. Once you’ve registered then you have your GP for the whole of your university life.

“Once you have registered with a GP and dentist, it is important to make sure that you protect yourself from common, and sometimes serious illnesses by visiting your GP and receiving your Men ACWY and flu vaccine, and checking that you have already had your MMR vaccine.”

Further information is available on the NHS website by searching ‘getting medical care as a student’ at www.nhs.uk.

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