It’s really important to look after yourself when you move away from home and one of the first jobs should be to register with a doctor and dentist. The university may have their own practice that you can join. Although it seems easier to stay registered with your family doctor and dentist you’ll be spending more time at university so it will be easier to access help if you have local health care. There are several doctors and dentists in the area should you want to register locally.

For help finding a local general practitioner or health centre please use this website –

Likewise for finding a local dentist the NHS can help by looking at this site –

If you have not registered with a local doctor or you are ill during the holidays you can still access health care from a local medical centre for 14 days. You will need to register as a temporary resident, find out more here –

If you’re not registered with a medical centre in Selly Oak then the NHS walk in centre on Katie Road can provide urgent treatment for issues that are not life threatening. They allow to you wait and have an appointment the same day, although there may be a bit of a wait. They can help with the following types of medical issues –

  • sprains and strains
  • cuts and grazes, bites and stings
  • minor scalds and burns
  • ear and throat infections
  • skin infections and rashes
  • coughs, colds and fevers
  • abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea
  • emergency contraception

If you are struggling to get a doctor’s appointment or it is a minor ailment you can ask your local pharmacist. Use this useful website to find your nearest one –

There are chemists on the Bristol Road and a Superdrug in the new shopping centre near Sainbury’s.

If you have a medical issue that is not an emergency but you would like some advice, then you can call the NHS on 111 for help. If you have an emergency then call 999 for an ambulance or use the Accident and Emergency department at the nearby Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Download the free Student Health App which gives help and tips from common illnesses to first aid. Download from Apple Store or Google Play.

Look after yourself

When you first start at university you are meeting a lot of new people and are therefore at a higher risk of certain diseases.

It is worth checking with your GP that t you are up to date on all your vaccinations.

  1. MenACWY vaccination

You may have been offered this in year 13 but if not you can have this up until you are 25 years old.

The MenACWY vaccine protects against 4 different causes of meningitis and septicaemia: meningococcal (Men) A, C, W and Y diseases. This would be best to have before you start uni, but better late than never! Contact your doctor for more information and to book.

  1. Mumps vaccination

It is advised that students at Universities and colleges have the MMR vaccine also before starting their studies. This will help with protection from mumps, measles and rubella. Most children in the UK have had two doses but do check you are up to date.

  1. Flu jab

It is recommended that if you have asthmas or kidney disease that you get the annual flu jab. Many doctors have drop in sessions in the Autumn term. Again ask at your local health centre for information.

  1. Contraception

You can visit any doctor sexual health service for free contraception including condoms. You can speak to a doctor or nurse in complete confidence but if you would rather, you can visit a sexual health clinic. Find the nearest one here –

You can also get help from the walk in centre and many pharmacies now provide the morning after pill and contraceptive advice.

Stay safe and healthy – always protect yourself.

  1. Healthy body

If you don’t look after yourself you make yourself more susceptible to illness. So try to have a healthy diet at least some of the time and get enough sleep! This is particularly good advice when you have exams coming up.

Try to eat 3-5 portions of fruit and veg a day and choose wholemeal bread and pasta. There are lots of cooking apps that can help – check out the free Easy Meals app for ideas and inspiration.

Exercise is also important for a healthy body. This doesn’t have to be a nightmare trip to the gym, cycling, walking and dancing are good forms of exercise. There are several lovely parks around and some of them have the outside gym equipment. There are also good classes and equipment available at the university sports centre.