Before starting your course, it is advisable to be up to date with your immunisations, especially if you will be participating in school placements. Your GP should be able to confirm whether you are up to date with polio, tetanus, meningitis C and MMR vaccinations. Please make arrangements for any required vaccinations to be given before the commencement of your course.
There are no medical facilities available here, although basic first aid is available. If you will be living in Halls, please remember to bring your medical card so that you can register with a local health centre. The nearest medical practice is Jiggins Lane Medical Centre: www.jigginslane.com
To find a local dentist or GP, please visit the NHS website.
If you require health advice, you can call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or visit their website.
Advice about Meningitis
Public Health England recommend that young people are vaccinated against meningitis before starting University. You should contact your GP before the start of the course, or shortly after, to enquire about the vaccination. Further information can be found on the NHS website.
What is meningitis?
The meningococcal bacteria can cause two types of illness: meningitis and septicaemia (blood poisoning). Of these, septicaemia is the more dangerous and the more likely to be fatal.
The bacteria live in the nose and throat and are only passed on by prolonged, close contact. It has been estimated that between 10% and 20% of the population are carrying the bacteria at any given time and the great majority of people carry them without ever developing the disease.
The important thing to know is that the disease can develop rapidly, sometimes within a matter of hours.
What are the symptoms?
Early symptoms may be similar to those you get with flu or a hangover:
- feeling feverish
- severe headache
- stiff neck, back and joint pains
As the condition gets worse it may cause:
- a blotchy red rash that does not fade or change colour when you place a glass against it (a rash is not always present)
- severe dislike of light
- disorientation or confusion
- seizures or fits
- rapid breathing rate
- although meningitis is a potentially serious disease it is relatively rare
- if you are concerned about any symptoms you should contact a doctor
- if you are feeling ill, you should make sure that your friends (or Hall Tutor for residential students) know this - having someone check on you could save your life
- Covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, using a tissue when possible
- Disposing of dirty tissues promptly and carefully - they can be disposed of in normal domestic waste
- Maintaining good basic hygiene, for example washing hands frequently with soap and water to reduce the spread of the virus from your hands to your face or to other people
- Cleaning hard surfaces (such as door handles) frequently using a normal cleaning product.
Flu causes a sudden high temperature, headache and general aches and pains, tiredness and a sore throat. You can also lose your appetite, feel nauseous and have a cough.
When to see a doctor
If you are otherwise fit and healthy, there is usually no need to see a doctor if you have flu-like symptoms.
The best remedy is to rest at home, keep warm and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
You should see a doctor if you have flu-like symptoms and you:
- are pregnant
- have a long-term medical condition such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease or a neurological disease
- have a weakened immune system
This is because flu can be more serious for you and your doctor may want to prescribe antiviral medication.
Antiviral medicine can lessen the symptoms of flu and shorten its duration, but treatment needs to begin soon after flu symptoms start for it to be effective.
Antibiotics are of no use in the treatment of flu because it is caused by a virus and not by bacteria.
Where to go for help
Students living on campus can speak to their Hall Tutor. If you require some treatment for a minor injury or illness, you can visit the NHS Walk-in centre on Katie Rd (a short walk from Sainsburys Selly Oak – just off Oak Tree Lane). It is open every day from 8am – 8pm. From Newman, the best bus route would be the X64 to Selly Oak.
If you need emergency treatment, the nearest A&E is at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Further information can be found on the University Hospitals Birmingham website: http://www.uhb.nhs.uk. The best bus route from Newman would be the 448.