Registering with a GP (family doctor)
Students living in Aberystwyth are required to register with a local GP (family doctor) practice of their choice as soon as they have their new Aberystwyth address. This is vitally important to ensure continuity of care, especially if you are in receipt of any prescription medicine or other treatment. If you are registered with a GP in Wales you are entitled to free prescriptions from a pharmacist in Wales.
If you have a complex medical history, please ensure that you bring sufficient medication when you arrive and also bring your repeat prescription form or medication report from your current GP. This will avoid delays and ensure continuity of care.
If you haven’t already done so, please register with an Aberystwyth GP Practice now using this online registration form
Each GP practice has a website which explains about the services they offer.
There are three GP practices in Aberystwyth:
UK students should bring their National Health Medical Cards with them. It will be helpful, but not essential, for students who have an NHS number (i.e. UK students or non UK students who have previously registered with a GP) to have it available when they register with a GP.
Returning students should notify their GP of any new address.
Accessing your GP
The three town practices offer the e-Consult facility. eConsult enables NHS based GP practices to offer online consultations to their patients. This allows patients to submit their symptoms or requests to their own GP electronically and offers around the clock NHS self-help information, signposting to services, and a symptom checker.
Pharmacies in Wales are now part of the common ailment scheme. The pharmacy common ailment service is a scheme whereby your pharmacist can provide free confidential advice and treatment (26 common ailments) without you having to make an appointment to see your GP. If you feel you need to see a GP, patients are asked to ring the practice and they will be signposted to the most appropriate treatment.
EEA/Swiss students who started their courses before 31 December 2020, will continue to be eligible for free NHS services for the duration of their courses. You should however obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your home country before coming to the UK to show you are eligible for free health treatment. Visit the European Commission’s website for more information on how to apply for an EHIC card. WARNING – The EHIC card is free of charge, please take care to only use an official website to avoid the risk of using a website that will charge you a fee.
From 1 January 2021 international students, including EEA and Swiss nationals, who are coming to study for six months or more will need to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge as part of their visa application process. If you have paid the Immigration Health Surcharge then you will qualify for free NHS treatment on the same basis as anyone who is ordinarily resident in the UK.
EEA students are advised to apply for an EHIC card from their home countries, before travelling to the UK, as this may entitle you to apply for a full or partial refund of the Immigration Health Surcharge.
International students, including EEA and Swiss nationals, who are coming to study for less than six months and have not paid an Immigration Health Surcharge are advised to take out private medical insurance for the duration of their visit to the UK.
Family members of students who are not travelling to the UK on a dependant type visa will also need to take private medical insurance for the duration of their visit to the UK, as they may not be eligible for free NHS treatment.
Over recent years there has been an increase in the number of cases of certain contagious diseases among students. To protect yourself and others Public Health Wales recommends that you are up to date with the following routine vaccinations, preferably before arrival: meningitis (MenACWY), MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), diphtheria, polio, tetanus, Human Papillomavirus vaccine (HPV).
Students from countries with a high incidence of TB should be vaccinated against TB. Find out which countries have a high rate of TB.
Men ACWY vaccine (teenagers and new university students under the age of 25)
Is vaccination on your to do list?
Being up to date with all vaccinations is important for all of us, but even more so for students starting university and college who will be meeting, mixing and living with lots of new people.
Universities can be hot spots for measles, mumps, meningitis and sepsis as well as flu and COVID-19 as they present the perfect opportunity for infections to spread.
Some students who start university for the first time this autumn will have missed routine vaccines earlier in life that protect them against potentially fatal conditions.
Tick list before you get to Aberystwyth:
Before leaving for Aberystwyth, check you are up to date with vaccinations. It’s important you do this even if you’ve already started your course. You can check with your GP surgery if you are up to date with your vaccines.
You should have received the following vaccines up to the age of 16 as part of the routine vaccination programme:
• two doses of MMR vaccine
• one dose of MenACWY vaccine (available up to your 25th birthday)
• five doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and polio containing vaccine
• two doses of HPV vaccine
Males (born after 01/09/2006) and females can have the HPV vaccine until they reach their 25th birthday. Men who have sex with men (MSM) can have the HPV vaccine up to 45 years of age at a sexual health service.
Also don’t forget to arrange to have the following vaccines:
• an autumn booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine (for those in groups at higher risk from COVID-19)
• an autumn Flu vaccine (for those in groups at higher risk from flu)
Also, it’s good to know:
• the signs and symptoms of meningitis and sepsis
• how to seek medical advice
Once you get to university you should:
• Register with a GP as soon as you can – don’t wait until you have a problem.
• Arrange with your GP to catch up on any vaccines you have missed or are due.
Visit the Public Health Wales website for information
If you have a chronic health condition please ensure you bring a month’s supply of up to date medication with you and consider how you will store your medication and dispose of equipment (such as epi pens) safely. Advice is available from our Accessibility Service 01970 621761/01970 622087 firstname.lastname@example.org
International students are advised to:
- check availability of the medication that you need on the NHS website or by doing a Google search
- be aware that sometimes medication will have a different brand name in the UK but is actually the same medication
- be aware that some medicines are only available via secondary services in this country so GPs (primary care Doctors) may have to refer students on to secondary services for some medication which can lead to delays accessing the medicine that you need
- bring a sufficient supply of medicines, one to two months, to avoid problems in case of delays
COVID-19 and other infectious/communicable diseases information
We continue to have risk controls in place to help protect students from coronavirus and other infectious/communicable diseases, such as ventilation and cleaning regimes. This includes staying home if you are feeling unwell.
If you have taken a Covid test and it indicates you are positive then do take practical steps to help minimise the spread of infection. As such, let close contacts such as friends and family know and if you are feeling unwell take the time you need to rest up. This is advice we would also give for other illnesses such as the flu.
If you suspect you may have another infectious disease such as Measles or Meningococcal Septicaemia (Meningitis) please seek advice from your GP or NHS Direct immediately and contact the Advice and Money team at the earliest opportunity.