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Leaving home for the first time? Here’s what you need to know about the NHS

02 September 2015

Leaving home for the first time? Here’s what you need to know about the NHS

It’s that time of year when students are making plans to leave home for the first time for college or university. But if it’s the first time away from home, do you know what to do if you need medical help?

You’re likely to spend more of the year at your college or university address than at home and your family GP may be hours away, so it’s important to register with a new GP practice as soon as you are settled. Your college or university may provide details of local surgeries. To find your nearest GP or other NHS services, visit www.nhs.uk.

Dr Judy Baxter, Clinical Director for NHS Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and a GP said: “Everyone can become ill from time to time and need to see a GP. Although most students enjoy the excitement of university, stress can build up with the need to meet course work deadlines, studying for exams and balancing the finances. So, it’s good to know where to go if you need medical help.

“Make sure that registering with a local GP is on your list of tasks to do during your first week at university. Try to register with one close to your campus to make it easier to get to appointments between lectures.

“Many GP practices also offer Patient Online, which is a service that allows you to book an appointment online. This is quicker and more convenient if you’re a student trying to get an appointment around lectures. It also allows you to request repeat prescriptions and view your NHS care record.

"When back at home for the holidays, it is still possible to be seen at your family's practice by registering as a temporary patient.

It may not always be necessary to see a GP. Other NHS services may be able to help. A sexual health or GUM clinic can test for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and provide contraception advice. Pharmacies can give you advice and treatment for minor conditions, such as hay fever, coughs, colds and stomach upsets. If you have a strain or sprain, infection or rash just call NHS111 and they will tell you the nearest place to go that is open.


For further information, please e-mail

communications@bedfordshirecg.nhs.uk 01525 864430 or

england.mediahub@nhs.net 0113 825 3231.

Picture caption: Know your NHS services if you’re leaving home for the first time.

Note to editors

NHS England is the body which leads the NHS in England. Its main aim is to improve the health outcomes for people in England, and it sets the overall direction and priorities for the NHS as a whole.

A recent survey by National Union of Students revealed that 92 per cent of students had feelings of mental distress, which often included feeling down, stressed and demotivated. 74 per cent of students also experienced these feelings once a month or more. Almost one third suffered distress every week. http://www.nus.org.uk/en/news/20-per-cent-of-students-consider-themselves-to-have-a-mental-health-problem/

Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group is responsible for planning, organising and buying NHS-funded healthcare for the 441,000 people who live in Bedfordshire. This includes hospital, community health and mental health services.

BCCG is run by GPs, nurses, hospital doctors and other clinicians – the people you see whenever you come into contact with the NHS. All 55 GP practices in Bedfordshire are members of the CCG which is divided into five areas, which we call localities. These are: Bedford, Chiltern Vale, Leighton Buzzard, Ivel Valley and West Mid Bedfordshire and all of the 55 GP practices in Bedfordshire are members.

You can read more about how BCCG is organised in our constitution. It explains how we operate, make decisions and our governance structures and processes. You can also read our corporate plan which sets out our priorities and aims for 2014-15.


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