New Manchester students are being encouraged to register with a local GP as soon as possible, so that they can be covered for any health issues once they start term.
Practice representatives will be manning stalls during Freshers’ Week (from 16 September onwards) at the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University, to give details of where and how to sign up with a doctor.
Dr Helen Hosker, GP and lead for urgent care at Central Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It’s very important that students don’t forget their health needs and that they make registering with a GP in Manchester a priority. By signing up with a doctor they are ensuring that their health needs can be met appropriately and that their new practice can access prior medical history to get a complete picture.
“Many students don’t realise that signing up with a GP in Manchester will give them continuity of care for any ongoing health problems, as well as help for any new concerns and preventative advice to stop illnesses developing into more serious conditions.”
To register with a practice – which will provide 24-hour healthcare – a new patient needs to supply their name, date of birth, address (or C/O address), NHS number (if they know it) and details of their last GP.
It is estimated that Manchester has around 100,000 students, aged eighteen upwards, each year during term-time. The University of Manchester alone has students from 180 different countries.
Dr Hosker concludes: “We want students, like all our patients, to receive the best and the most appropriate care. Accident and emergency departments are not the best place for advice on minor illnesses or ongoing health problems. A&E should not be used as a substitute for illnesses which GPs would normally treat.
“We also recognise that moving to a new city – or even a new country, starting a degree course and leaving family and friends behind can be a very daunting experience for some students, making them more vulnerable to depression or anxiety.
“This is just one illustration of why it’s so important that the right support is in place with a GP as soon as students get to the city.”
Anyone who wants information about choosing a doctor in Manchester can visit: www.choosewellmanchester.org.uk.