COVID-19 and other infectious/communicable diseases information
As you know, COVID-19 restrictions in Wales ended on 30 May but 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.
Our position on face coverings remains in line with the Welsh Government’s advice. Whilst there is no requirement to wear a face covering, please respect those who choose to continue wearing one.
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.
Registering with a GP (family doctor)
Students living in Aberystwyth are required to register with a local GP (family doctor) practice of their choice within the first week of arrival at University. This is vitally important to ensure continuity of care, especially if you are in receipt of any prescription medicine or other treatment.
Students will be able to register with a GP Practice in Aberystwyth (via ‘Campus Doctor’) as soon as they have been given their Aberystwyth address using the following QR code:
Each GP practice has a website which explains about the services they offer and how you can register as a patient.
There are 3 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.
If you feel you need to see a GP, due to the current situation the town practices have taken the difficult decision to suspend all routine appointments and are asking all patients to pre-book appointments if required. Patients are asked to ring the practice in the first instance and will be signposted to the most appropriate treatment.
The practices will still be offering clinical need appointments and telephone triage. Patients will be asked outside when they arrive for their appointment and not in the practice waiting room. Patients will be asked to wear a mask when entering the building to see a clinician and the clinician will also be wearing a mask during your appointment.
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).
NHS Press Release -Students - Is vaccination on your to do list?
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)
Cases of meningitis and septicaemia (blood poisoning) caused by Men W bacteria are rising, due to a particularly deadly strain. Older teenagers and first time university students are at high risk of infection because they tend to live in close contact in shared accommodation, such as university halls of residence.
New university students are offered the MenACWY vaccine (if not had previously as part of the school-based programme) to improve protection against meningococcal group W (MenW) disease. The MenACWY vaccine protects against four different causes of meningitis and septicaemia – Meningococcal (Men) A, C, W and Y diseases.
Those who have not already received the vaccine should contact their GP surgery to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Young people remain eligible to receive the vaccine up to the age of 25 and ideally the vaccine should be administered at least two weeks prior to starting university.
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