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Posted March 10, 2014

How to Find a GP and a Dentist as a Postgrad

Settling into a new city can be a difficult time for many. If you are at the outset of a new postgraduate course, it can take a while to find your feet and get to know the area. Many postgrad students report a sense of dislocation in their first few weeks and – although it does not necessarily follow – your mental health can suffer. If you feel like this might be happening to your then help is at hand . Seek out a student welfare officer or a mental health charity who can help. Another good step is to visit your GP but if you have just moved this can be a headache. Therefore is always worth registering with a doctor’s surgery when you relocate. Likewise, finding a dentist to register with is also highly advisable. Once you have registered, your healthcare needs should be taken care of without you having to travel home for simple medical matters.

Of course, many students – both undergraduates and postgraduates – don’t bother to re-register with a GP or a dentist. They sometimes reasonably assume that, if they are in good general health, they don’t need to. For such students a trip to the doctor or dentist is put off until the term or semester has ended and they are back in their usual address. This is not such a problem for undergraduates who are not living far away and return to their parents’ home. However, for postgraduates this situation is rarely the case. Postgrad students – on the whole – tend to have moved further and in a more permanent way, even if they retain roots in their home town. For this reason, it is highly advisable that all postgraduates who have access to NHS services should find a new practice to be registered with. In the meantime, try to maintain a healthy die t and lifestyle so that you remain in good condition.

Registering with a GP is not really much of a hassle and should take no more time than sorting out your television license, for instance. Simply head to the local surgery and ask the receptionist for a GMS1 form. All you need to provide is your name, address and your previous doctor’s contact details. You could do with knowing your NHS number, but this is not essential. Some GPs conduct a further proof of identity check, but all you’ll need is a bank statement or your passport for this. You can also ask for a temporary registration if you are only studying in the city for a term. Under NHS regulations you are allowed this type of registration if you plan to stay for under three months.

Registering with an NHS dentist is no harder. Some dental practices are for private consultations only, so avoid these unless money is not an issue for you. If you want to access an NHS dentist but don’t know where to go, call 111 from a landline and this NHS helpline will point you in the right direction. It is usually worth phoning the practice that you intend registering with before going there, because sometimes practices that accept NHS patients have a waiting list for these services.

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