Parents welcoming their children home from university this summer can make sure they have access to the health care they need – by encouraging them to temporarily register with a GP for the holidays.
During term time it’s recommended that students who live away from home register at a GP practice close to their college address.
It’s easy to register with a local GP practice as a temporary patient and registration lasts for up to three months, so it’s valid for the whole summer holiday.
As well as making sure they have access to a GP, students should be aware of what to do if their GP practice is not open, such as in the evenings and at weekends.
There are two things they need to be aware of: the website www.nhs.uk and the phone number 111.
The website can direct them to the nearest NHS service – all they need to do is type in their postcode.
The NHS111 service is for when it’s urgent but not an emergency. Simply dialling 111 will put the caller in touch with the NHS. A series of questions will be help the call handler direct the caller to the service which is right for them at that time.
It’s also important that students who have a long-term health condition such as asthma, diabetes or epilepsy make sure they have enough medication so they don’t fall ill. Those registered with a GP practice can sign-up for GP online services so repeat prescriptions and GP appointments can be made online via a mobile app, tablet, PC or laptop. Signing-up is easy. Simply take two forms of photo ID to the GP reception and complete a form.
Local pharmacies also offer confidential advice on a range of common illnesses, and are often open late in the evening and at weekends.
Dr Kevin Hill, Chair of South Lincolnshire CCG, said:
“Students returning home for the summer should register with a local GP practice on a temporary basis to ensure they can see a doctor if they need to during the holidays.
“They will still be registered with their usual GP when they go back to university for the new term, and any information about treatment they receive over the summer will be passed on by their temporary GP to be added to their medical records.
“When registering, students will need to provide details of any current or previous medical conditions, allergies and medication they’re taking, along with the name of their permanent GP practice. That will ensure they have access to a local GP in case they become unwell.
“If you haven’t already registered at a health centre near your college address, parents should encourage their student children to put this at the top of their to-do lists when they return to university in the autumn.
“In the meantime, there’s a wide range of other NHS services available for those in need of medical help over the summer, with full details available on the NHS Choices website.”
To find a GP surgery near to their college or home address, and for more information about registering with a GP and about other NHS services in their area, students should visit www.nhs.uk or search NHS Choices online.