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Get help and support


If you are physically or mentally unwell make sure you get support from the appropriate healthcare services. You can also get support for your studies.

  • Short-term illness

    If your mobility is affected:

  • Long-term/chronic illness

    As well as the information given above for short-term illness, the following may help:

  • Measles, mumps and rubella

    Measles and mumps are highly infectious, a cough or a sneeze can spread the virus over a wide area. It particularly spreads among the student population because of greater social mixing and living in close proximity.

    The diseases

    Measles, Mumps and Rubella are diseases with serious complications:

    • Measles has various symptoms followed by a red-brown spotty rash that develops a few days later
    • Mumps is most recognisable by the painful swellings at the side of the face under the ears, read more about the symptoms of mumps.
    • Rubella (German Measles) often produces a red-pink rash as one of the symptoms of rubella

    When to seek medical help

    If you believe you have contracted measles or mumps, the best advice is to see your doctor. It is best not to mix with others until recovered.

    Emergencies and out-of-hours help

    If you need medical advice outside of surgery opening hours, call NHS advice on 111.

    Getting vaccinated

    MMR is the common name for the mumps, measles and rubella vaccination, you are strongly advised to have the MMR vaccination. This is especially important if you are going to be living in close contact with lots of other students in University-owned accommodation. If, for any reason, it is not possible for you to have the vaccination before you arrive at University, you should inform your new local doctor when you register with them.

    The vaccine

    You need two doses of MMR to be protected against mumps. MMR was introduced in 1988, with a second dose being introduced in 1996. Some teenagers and young people have not had two doses of MMR. This has led to several outbreaks of mumps in young people in recent years.

    If you have never had the MMR vaccine, you should have one dose now and another after one month. For those of you who are not sure if you have had your second dose – having more than two will not do any harm - so it is better to have it than not.

  • Meningitis

    Meningitis is an inflammation (swelling) of the lining of the brain. It can be caused by viruses or bacteria. Meningitis is rare and does not spread easily from person to person. The bacteria which cause meningitis and meningococcal disease are spread by coughing, sneezing or direct contact such as kissing, but they die rapidly outside the body so there is little risk unless you have had very close contact with an infected person.

    However, the disease can develop very rapidly, sometimes within a matter of hours. The biggest problem is that most of the early symptoms are mild and similar to those you get with flu or hangover.

    Key symptoms

    • Severe headache
    • Vomiting
    • Fever
    • Joint or muscle pains
    • Stiff neck
    • Dislike of bright lights
    • Fine rash which does not disappear when pressed with a glass
    • More information about symptoms (not all need to be present)

    Act quickly

    If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, get medical help immediately. Do not wait until the following day. Around one in ten cases are fatal, and people with meningitis can become seriously ill very quickly. Early treatment saves lives and can reduce the long-term impact of the illness.

    In an emergency

    If you need to see a doctor urgently out of surgery hours or at weekends or vacation time, please contact the practice or see our emergency information.

    If you have had close contact with a person diagnosed with probable bacterial meningitis, you will be offered antibiotics to minimise the risk of becoming ill or transmitting the disease. Antibiotics are not offered for less close contacts because the risks are small and because:

    • the meningitis germ may become resistant to the antibiotics and so make future protection impossible
    • there can be side effects from taking antibiotics, which are occasionally serious
    • the nose and throat contain many germs which protect against infection. Antibiotics may kill all of these germs and remove this natural protection, which may put people more at risk of developing meningococcal disease


    Vaccination is not generally recommended in response to a case of meningitis as there are several different strains of meningitis and it does not provide protection against the most common form. So, even if you have been vaccinated against Meningitis C, please seek medical help if you are suffering from the symptoms above.

    Teenagers and students going to university for the first time are advised by the NHS to have a vaccination to prevent meningitis and septicaemia.

    Further information