New Doctor

New research analysed student perceptions of registering with a new local doctor when they move away from home to attend University It’s that time of year again when UK students start preparing for university.

However, it appears that registering to their local doctors isn’t at the top of the priority for those studying in or close to Portsmouth, new research has revealed.

A study, by online pharmaceutical company Chemist Direct, asked students ‘Would you sign up to a local doctor when moving away from home to go to university?’ and compared this across different universities in the UK.

Overall the results found that 1 in 5 students (21%) would not be registering with a new doctor when they start university, meaning they would have to travel home (or wherever they were registered) if they needed to see a GP. Females appear to be a lot more organised at this however, with 83% answering ‘yes’, compared to just 60% of males.

By nearest city

The results found that students in Portsmouth are by far the worst at signing up with their local doctor at university, with only 43% answering ‘yes’. This was followed by students studying in Edinburgh, Bristol, Leicester, and Liverpool, where just 63%, 68%, and 70% respectively would plan to change doctor.

At the other end of the scale, students who attend universities in or near Coventry, Oxford, Plymouth, Sheffield, and Worcester are the most likely to get registered with a local doctor, with all locations having between 90% and 100% of respondents stating that they would definitely be planning on signing up to a new local practice.

By specific university

As well as location-based by nearest city, the research also analysed students specifically within individual universities. Between different universities in the same city, and related to the wider student population findings by nearest city above, there were a few discrepancies.

For example, in Liverpool, 100% of respondents at Liverpool John Moores University said they’d sign up with a new local doctor, while only 80% at the University of Liverpool said they would. In Sheffield the same was true, with 50% at the University of Sheffield saying they wouldn’t sign up while 100% at Sheffield Hallam said they would.

While Portsmouth was highlighted as the city where student residents were both the least likely and the most unsure, it was specifically students attending The University of Aberdeen that were the worst, with only a third of students planning to register, and the remaining two thirds stating that they would not be bothering at all.

Top 5 universities to answer ‘yes’:

  • Sheffield Hallam
  • Oxford Brooks
  • Coventry University
  • University of Worcester
  • University of Plymouth

Top 5 Universities to answer ‘no’ or ‘not sure’:

  • University of Gloucestershire
  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Central Lancashire
  • University of Bristol
  • Manchester Metropolitan

A Chemist Direct Spokesman commented:

“We understand that when students are about to start university signing up to a new doctor is probably the last thing on their mind.  We were interested to compare students of the various cities within the UK to see if there would be much of difference in the amount of people planning to sign up. As you can see from the results, there are some big differences – especially if you compare students near Portsmouth to the likes of Oxford and Sheffield.

“We were surprised to find that more than 20% of students weren’t planning on registering with a new doctor at all. While it might not be at the top of the priority list, it is still vitally important that students have access to a GP, in case they should they need one during their studies.

“As there is a lot of socialising, going out and drinking involved (especially in the first few weeks) there is an increased chance of people getting the dreaded ‘freshers flu’, and potentially needing medical advice or attention.

Also, it makes sense to stock up on the bathroom cabinet essentials, such as first aid kits, vitamins, painkillers and personal hygiene products ahead of fresher’s week, just in case you really can’t drag yourself out of bed”.