Looking after your health at University, and having access to healthcare, is important. Find out what services are available and how you can access them.
If, like most students, you spend more weeks of the year at your University address than your family's address, you need to register with a GP in Cardiff as soon as possible.
A GP, short for General Practitioner, is your first point of contact for medical treatment. By registering with a GP you can receive emergency care if you need it, and access health services quickly and easily while you're here.
This is especially important if you have an ongoing health condition, particularly one that needs medicine, such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy or mental health issues.
You can choose to register with any local GP. The doctors working in surgeries around the city will be experienced in the health needs of students.
There are a few things to consider when deciding on a GP:
- Research your options in the area you want to register with, so you can choose a practice that is right for you.
- Compare GP surgeries according to facilities, services or performance before you decide. Ask friends, relatives and others you trust for their thoughts and recommendations.
- Proximity to your term time address and GP catchment areas will need consideration.
- Would you like a GP that speaks Welsh or another language? There are GPs in Cardiff who can consult in Welsh as well as other languages.
Find your local GP surgery
Once you have chosen a surgery you will be able to register online with Campus Doctor.
The practice will decide if you can register with them, following a review of your completed registration form.
What you need to complete online GP registration
- NHS Number - if you are new to the UK and do not have one then you will be assigned one through the registration process. The number will then be sent to you via a letter and an email. It is best to use your term time address and your University email for this.
- Town and country of birth.
- Term time address.
- Recent medical history relating to allergies, medication, vital statistics, lifestyle choices or any diagnosis or ongoing treatment.
- On 1 December 2015 the law around organ donation in Wales changed. This will apply to everyone who is resident in Wales for more than 12 months, including international students. You may be asked if you wish to opt out of the default NHS organ donor registration, you can submit your preference on the website.
Did you know that you can see your local pharmacist for free confidential advice and treatment for a range of common ailments?
If you have a minor illness like coughs, colds, diarrhoea or headaches or need advice on medications you should speak to your Community Pharmacist.
If you have toothache, sore or bleeding gums, a troublesome wisdom tooth, tooth sensitivity or other types of facial pain you should book an appointment with a Dentist.
If you have problems with your eye health like injuries, pain, swelling, visual loss or disturbance you should book an appointment with an Optometrist.
We strongly recommend that you are up to date with all your vaccinations before coming to University.
It is recommended that all students are up to date with Tetanus, Polio, Diphtheria and Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccinations. Public Health Wales also recommend that students under the age of 25 receive the Meningitis ACWY vaccination.
If you are unsure whether you have had any of these vaccinations, please ask your GP surgery or health care provider.
If you are a healthcare student, you will need additional vaccinations.
Meningitis is one of the major health risks for young adults in their first year at University. It is an infection of the protective membranes (meninges) that surround the brain and spinal cord. The inflammation that results from this can lead to damage of the brain and spinal cord nerves and can be life-threatening.
Meningitis is usually caused by a bacteria or a virus. The early symptoms of meningitis can disguise themselves as other things, such as a headache or the flu. This means that meningitis can be easy to miss.
It is important that you keep an eye on yourself and your friends, as meningitis can develop quickly. If you suspect meningitis you must seek medical help as quickly as possible.
What to look out for
Symptoms can appear in any order. Some symptoms may not appear at all. Do not wait for any of the symptoms to appear if you suspect meningitis. Get medical help urgently.
Early symptoms include:
- muscle pain
More serious signs and symptoms include:
- severe headache
- fever with cold hands and feet
- drowsy, or difficult to wake
- confusion and irritability
- severe muscle pain
- dislike of bright lights
- pale blotchy skin
- stiff neck
- convulsions, or seizures
- rash of either small red/purple spots or large black/purple bruises that do not disappear when pressed
If you are not feeling well you should contact your General Practitioner (GP) for further advice.
The 'glass test'?
The meningitis rash is a rash that does not fade under pressure. You can 'glass test' the rash to see if it could be meningitis:
- Press the side of a clear glass firmly against the skin.
- Even if the spots/rash fade at first, keep checking.
- Fever with spots/rash that do not fade under pressure is a medical emergency.
Although it is one of the most commonly known symptoms of meningitis, not everyone will develop a rash.
Never wait for a rash, and seek medical advice urgently if you suspect meningitis.
Seeking medical advice
If you suspect meningitis, trust your instincts and act as quickly as possible.
- Dial 999 for an ambulance.
- Describe the symptoms carefully and say that you think it could be meningitis.
Other health concerns
When you complete enrolment you will be able to access extensive content on a whole range of health issues on our student intranet, which you can access at any time throughout your studies.