As it stands, students (and indeed the wider public) are only able to register permanently with one GP surgery. As a result, students are forced to chose which of their addresses' they are more likely to need support at - or more likely they just don't bother to register at their University address, and only access services when they go 'home'.
This makes going to the GP seem like an inconvenience which invariably leads to students putting it off, they may stay registered at home, and ‘wait till they get home’ or vice versa and this, in turn, reduces the chance of early diagnosis of illnesses. Many conditions require multiple trips to the GP over an extended period of time, which can be made fiendishly complicated if a student is moving back and forth and is only registered in one location.
Chronic Illness and/or Mental Health problems can require both immediate action and ongoing treatment, both of which can be made more complex by only being registered in one location. This is especially pertinent if a student puts off their appointment until they are back home or back at university and are then rebuffed by the first GP they see, which is a common occurrence.
"So I'm working with students to do something about it. Since last year when the student council passed the policy 'Putting Students in Control of Their Health' we've been working hard on multiple fronts."
"Zoha and I (Chris) accompanied 5 students as we attend the local Patient Participation Group in Horsforth"- Chris Dow, Vice President.
They were shocked about the difficulty of student registrations and were convinced of the need to help. They agreed to:
- Put student registration on the agenda for the 2nd December meeting with the Practice Manager and GPs
- Make student registration a separate agenda item, so it wouldn’t be lost in the wider ‘patient concerns’ section
- Organize patient volunteers to come to LTU and help with getting more student registrations, particularly during Freshers Week
- Investigate the differences between registration forms and ask the Practice Manager to come to the 2nd December meeting ready to answer student questions
- Encourage regular student membership of the Patient Participation Group
"We're really pleased with how it went and if you want to get involved in the next phase, drop me an email on C.Dow@leedstrinity.ac.uk!" - Chris Dow, Vice President.