New students welcomed to Liverpool
This week saw the annual arrival of thousands of new students to Liverpool and the return of thousands of second and third years.
With 4 universities in the city, students make up a big part of the local population.
New students receive a welcome card from Healthwatch Liverpool with the following tips for getting the best out of their time in Liverpool by staying well and knowing where to go if illness or stress strikes.
- Register with a doctor (GP)
- Know where your nearest pharmacy is
- Know about the Walk in Centres
- Keep A&E for serious and life threatening emergencies
- Keep an eye on your own wellbeing
Staff and volunteers from Healthwatch Liverpool have been on hand this week at University Welcome Events and Freshers Fairs to talk to students and make sure they know which health services they should use if the need arises.
With Liverpool's international appeal, students arrive from all over the world. We've been handing out special versions of the card with added explanations helpful for people who don't know how the NHS works.
Sarah Thwaites, Chief Officer of Healthwatch Liverpool said: "We hope that the new arrivals have a happy and healthy time in Liverpool. But we know that unexpected health problems can and do happen. We'd much rather take the time now when students first arrive, to help them understand where to get help and how to stay well than have students, many miles from their families, worried about where to go if they do become unwell."
With our local hospital A&E departments under ever more pressure, it is also important to remind people to keep A&E for emergencies and not for routine health concerns.
Sarah added "in some countries the healthcare system is very different. There is a lot for new arrivals to learn about life in the UK and understanding the NHS is one important part of that."
Brownlow Health who run the Student Health Service at the University of Liverpool said: "Here at the Student Health Centre we have had many incidences of dealing with sick students who were unknown to us until it reached a time of crisis. Thankfully the outcomes are usually good, but it is much easier, and safer, if the student is already registered with us. Please don't wait until you're ill! You can register online via our website, so you don't even have to queue."
Another key message for freshers this year is the importance of meningitis vaccinations for those who haven't had them. The Healthwatch Liverpool team have been spreading the word and telling students where they can go to make sure they're up to date with these potentially lifesaving injections.