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Doctors

NHS GP Service

All students studying at The University should ensure that, within two weeks of arriving in St Andrews, they are registered with one of the two local NHS (National Health Service) doctors' practices.  They are based at the recently-built, full-facility, Community hospital, approximately 20 minutes’ walk from the centre of town, but accessible by plenty of buses or an approximate £3.50 taxi fare.  The doctors there (termed usually “general practitioners" or GPs) run a comprehensive primary care service, assisted by teams of nurses and healthcare advisors.  Although the NHS is an independently run service and the University is unable to have any control or influence over clinical decisions, we want to do all we can to help students access the NHS and since many students will be unfamiliar with the UK systems, we are offering a new Student Health Hub (01334 465777) to assist with access to the right service either within the NHS or the University.  From August 2018, in partnership with the University, these GP practices will be operating specific Nurse Triage Clinics every weekday only for students.  We encourage students to call as early in the day as possible for the best availability.  These clinics should be accessible quickly and, if a senior, trained, nurse, thinks input from a GP is required to give a second opinion or prescribe something specific, then a one will be brought through to join them in that appointment.  The community hospital will be running specialist clinics for chronic disease management and for sexual health, and clinics at particular times of the year for immunisation/vaccination.  

In the past the waiting times have been as long as 3 weeks on occasions, but with the University investment and the wholehearted cooperation of our local GPs, we are all optimistic that waiting times will be brought right down, assuring appropriate access for the student to be medically assessed by the right person.  

If you think you want to see a doctor, ask yourself if you think it has to be a doctor and only a doctor you see?  Remember that it is estimated that up to 80% of students will get the help they need quicker by accessing other medical assessments.  Both practices have nurses who can treat various ailments.  You could consider some other options perhaps?  How about checking out the new Student Health App, look up the Student Health Guide in your room, talk over mental health issues with Student Services - make an online booking to see a Student Services' Life and Wellbeing adviser - or a good starting point would be to call  the Student Health Hub 01334 465777 and they will talk you through these options and help you make an appointment with a Nurse at the Student Triage Clinic (or even just speak to a nurse on the phone).

However if you are convinced that it must be a doctor that you see you can still make an appointment direct, although waiting times may be longer than accessing through the Student Clinic.

If you are on regular medication and have met with your doctor at either Pipeland or Blackfriars, you can set up an online repeat medication request.  This will save you having to come up to the community hospital to hand in your repeat prescription slip.  Simply complete the online form for the practice you are with (Pipeland or Blackfriars) and follow the instructions - it normally takes about 14 days to activate your account.  Once registered, you can download the app for either iOS or Android and you can also request which pharmacy you would prefer when picking up your medication.

For any advice, call the Student Health Hub on 01334 465777, Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm.

 Short term study students (1 semester <6 months) are different.

Medication

The licencing of medication changes from country to country so if you are an international student you should seek advice from your doctor at home, before you come, about accessible alternative treatment in the UK if you can't get your medicine here. Changing medication can have side effects and we don't want that just as you're starting an important part of your new life.  If you're an international student, discuss your move to the UK with your home physician and check that your medication is licenced for the UK.  If not, then you should change to the UK version whilst still being monitored by your home physician so you're ready to continue using it in seamless transition when you arrive.  

If you wish to change to a UK medicine under the supervision of your new GP here in St Andrews, you should bring at least three months’ supply of any medication you are on.  If you do not envisage being back home for some time, then bring enough medication to see you through to that visit home - up to a maximum of 6 months will be allowed by immigration authorities so long as you have a letter of permission from your home physician.

If in doubt, you should call the Student Health Hub (01334 465777) to speak to one of the nurses in your allocated practice in St. Andrews and they will be able to advise prior to arrival in the UK

Registering With a Doctor

Students are free to register with either of the two practices, however for administrative purposes the practices split the student body into two parts according to the alphabetical listing of the student's surname or family name.  If you don't want to go with the practice you're assigned to there is no compulsion to do so.   You will always be able to change practices without prejudice if you’re not happy at a later date.  If you live outside St Andrews please check the appropriate medical practice website for details of their respective catchment areas.

The alphabetic split for 2018/19 for new entrant students, registering for the first time the practice splits is as follows:

Family name begins withMedical PracticeTelephone
A - Nt Pipeland Medical Practice 01334 476840
Nu - Z Blackfriars Medical Practice 01334 477477

Students will be offered the chance to register with one of the St. Andrews’ GP practices when they matriculate on arrival.

However, in order to register, it is very important that you bring the following information:

A letter from your doctor/physician from your home area, specifically detailing:

  • Medical conditions experienced over the past year
  • Medical conditions from birth which could have relevance to current health
  • Any current medication
  • Any current treatment
  • Any adverse reactions to  past medication
  • Any allergies
  • full immunisation history

Private GP Service

The UK has a tradition of National Health Service, of which it is very proud.  The private health services available are less accessible usually, with limited private hospital services in Dundee (12 miles) or Edinburgh (55 miles). 

However we are lucky in St Andrews to have one of the few private GPs in Scotland, Dr. Dan Rutherford.  Dr Rutherford sees students at a clinic which he holds at the Student Services premises at Eden Court on Thursdays 12-4pm in term time only.  To make an appointment:

  • Telephone 01334 474209
  • Call in at Eden Court during the clinic times above
  • Book online at www.gpmed.co.uk (mid September onwards)

See www.gpmed.co.uk for further details and costs.

Contact

The Student Health Hub

The Student Health Hub
St Andrews Community Hospital and Health Centre
Largo Road

St Andrews
Fife
KY16 8AR
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1334 (46)5777

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