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Finding a new GP whilst at uni

It’s your first month at university, you’ve survived freshers week and you are starting your course. While you’re still settling in and meeting your coursemates, you have a lot on your mind, you’re probably still buying some of the essentials for your new studio, and it’s easy to forget to register with a local GP.

Why you should register with a new GP as a student.

There are many reasons why signing up at your local doctors is vital. Students are known to be among the most susceptible groups to illness because they mix with so many people from different places. Whether shoulder to shoulder in a lecture hall, dancing in the middle of a crammed nightclub, or catching a busy bus to uni, you encounter many new people daily; you’re bound to catch something at some point.

It’s particularly important for you to register if you suffer from any long-term medical conditions, such as epilepsy, diabetes or asthma, so that you can receive your medication easily. Also, registering with a GP means that if you notice any concerns, you’ll have a nearby doctor to monitor your condition. 

It is well known that the number of students diagnosed with mental health conditions is increasing yearly. It is almost certain that you’ll deal with stress at some point during your course (and it’s nothing to be ashamed of!). If you find it difficult to cope, having a GP is important to offer advice and support. 

Hopefully, your time at university will go without encountering any serious injuries, but if you need emergency care, being registered with a GP means that you’ll receive urgent care quickly. Anyone who has been to uni more than likely has a story of a time they did something silly or have been in a situation where they’ve hurt themselves or survived a near-miss. It’s best to feel reassured that you’re covered from any unforeseen circumstances. 

It’s also important to maintain your sexual well-being; it’s as important as any other health aspect to ensure we are living life to the fullest. It’s common for students to require support around their sexual health, so being registered with a GP is essential to ensure that you have access to advice, counselling and support. GPs will help you with access to contraception, diagnosis and treatment of STIs, HIV counselling and advice on any concerns. Not to give you flashbacks to year 10 sex ed, but it’s important to keep yourself protected from any nasty diseases. 

Student GP Registration 

Now that you know why you should register with your local GP, you’re probably wondering how you go about doing it. We’ve got you covered, it’s as simple as this:

Find your closest NHS GP

The first thing you need to do is select the GP surgery that you want to register with. All you have to do is visit the NHS website and enter your accommodation’s postcode, and it will then list the nearby surgeries that cover your area. If you live with us at St George’s Tower, your postcode will be LE1 1SH.

Contact the GP

The next step is to contact the GP. Give them a call and tell them that you want to register with them. They will ask you to fill out a registration form, which can be done through the NHS app or online; you can also pick up a paper copy from the surgery. You may also be asked to provide additional supporting documents to confirm you live in the surgery’s operating area or to help them transfer any health records from your previous GP.

Confirm your registration 

When you have successfully switched surgeries, you should receive a message from your new GP confirming that you’re now one of their patients. It can take up to 28 days for your medical records to be transferred to the new surgery. 

I’m an International student. How do I register!?

Don’t panic. International students can still register with a GP if they are studying in the UK for longer than 6 months.  However, you will have to pay an immigration health surcharge (IHS). This cost is compulsory and will be paid as part of your student visa application. 

Once you have paid this charge, you will be eligible to use all of the UK’s NHS services, including NHS hospital treatment, A&E services and sexual health, family planning and contraceptive services.

When you register with a GP, you will have to provide additional information proving your identity and student status, along with your visa and any other immigration documents you have. 

Need any further advice?

If you need any further advice, we are happy to help you get in contact with the right channels for professional advice. At St George’s Tower, we care deeply about all of our tenants and want to ensure they have the best university experience possible. Feel free to contact us with any questions. 

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