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Healthcare services

Choosing the right healthcare service

If you’re feeling unwell, make sure you choose the right service.

This short video explains which service to turn to for different ailments.

Registering with a General Practitioner (GP)

If you’re moving away from home to live closer to University, we strongly encourage you to register with a GP service close to where you live as soon as possible.

Beacon Primary Care is Edge Hill University’s nominated practice and has a local site situated on Railway Road in Ormskirk.

Registering with Beacon Primary Care will mean you get access to a range of healthcare professionals who aim to look after your physical and mental health. The practice also has sites throughout West Lancashire.

Register with Beacon Primary Care

Registered patients can access a range of services, including:

  • Meningitis ACWY vaccinations
  • Sexual health checks
  • Pill checks
  • Implant fitting
  • Coil fitting
  • Travel vaccinations
  • Minor operations
  • Flu vaccinations (for those eligible)
  • Asthma checks
  • Diabetes checks

For more information about Beacon Primary Care, and for information on the advantages of registering and how to do this, please take a look at the Beacon Primary Care website. Alternatively, you will be able to find your nearest GP practice by going to the NHS website. You will then need to enter your term-time postcode into the search bar.

If you need medical attention during vacation or weekends away from Edge Hill, you can see any GP as a temporary resident for a period of up to 12 weeks. You do not need to re-register with your own GP during vacation.

If you become unwell, please make an appointment to see your GP. Outside of GP opening hours, please seek medical advice and attention using the services below.

NHS 111: Call 111 free from any phone.

You can also visit:

Check the West Lancashire Health Centre webpage for up to date opening times and COVID-19 arrangements.

For useful information on your local ambulance service, visit the North West Ambulance Service website.

For more information on health and wellbeing, visit the NHS Choices website.

For information and help with healthcare costs, you can apply for a HC1.

Sexual health and contraception

If you live in Lancashire, you can get a free STI self-testing kit by post. Simply log onto the Lancashire Sexual Health website and select the option to request a bespoke STI postal test for people of all ages over 16, or a chlamydia only test for 16-25 year olds. The full kit tests for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and HIV, results take around two weeks once they arrive at the lab.

Lancashire Sexual Health Services provide all types of contraception, sexual health testing, treatment, advice, and information.

To make an appointment at services in West Lancashire, please call their booking line Monday – Friday on: 0300 1234 154

You can order FREE condoms via their condom postal scheme which is available for young people age 16 – 24 living in Lancashire (excluding Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen).

A short online request form needs to be completed and the condoms are posted in discreet packaging to the given address.

Get postal condoms

Beacon Primary Care also provide a range of sexual health services.

You can find out about the 15 methods of contraception that are available on the NHS, together with where to get them and how to decide which method might work best for you.


Public Health England provide advice and guidance to young people starting University about the vaccinations needed. There is a range of information available on the Public Health England webpages.

Have you been vaccinated against meningitis and measles?

MenACWY vaccination

If you have received this vaccine from your GP before coming to university or in a previous year there is no need to have this again. You may have had a MenC vaccination as a baby and again more recently but this will not protect you against other meningococcal groups. The MenACWY vaccine will increase your protection against MenC and help to protect you against three other meningococcal groups (A, W and Y). The advice is to have MenACWY if you have not previously received it even if you have been vaccinated against MenC.

If you did not get this vaccine before starting university you need to contact your local GP and ask them for this as soon as possible (preferably in the first few weeks of term).

Meningococcal bacteria can cause meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain) and septicaemia (blood poisoning). Both diseases are very serious and can kill, especially if not diagnosed early. The early symptoms of meningococcal disease are similar to those of flu, so students need to be able to recognise the symptoms very quickly (even if they have been vaccinated, the vaccines offered through the routine immunisation programme do not protect against all forms of the disease). A full description of the signs and symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia can be found at the Meningitis Research Foundation and Meningitis Now.

Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)

Public Health England (PHE) is also reminding young people to make sure they are vaccinated against measles after new cases were reported across England. Young people who are unsure if they have been fully vaccinated should check with their GP and make an appointment to ensure they receive the two doses of MMR vaccine required. More information about measles and the MMR vaccine can be found on this Public Health England leaflet.

Registering with a dentist

Dental examinations are available at Ravat and Ray Dental Practice based in the West Lancashire Health Centre, Ormskirk District General Hospital – call to make an appointment.

NHS dental treatment is free for people under 18 (19 if in full time education). Evidence of exemption must be brought with you to each dental appointment.


What can pharmacists help me with?

As qualified healthcare professionals, they can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains. If symptoms suggest it’s something more serious, pharmacists have the right training to make sure you get the help you need. For example, they will tell you if you need to see a GP.

Many pharmacies are open until late and at weekends. You don’t need an appointment – you can just walk in. Most pharmacies have a private consultation room where you can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard.

Local pharmacies

Alternatively, find a pharmacy near you by searching your postcode on the NHS website.

Accident and emergency departments

Hospital accident and emergency departments are for people with serious injuries or illness, or life-threatening emergencies such as severe chest pains, breathing difficulties, loss of consciousness or bleeding that can’t be stopped.

For patients 16 years and older, the Accident and Emergency department at Southport and Formby District General Hospital is open 24 hours a day seven days a week for serious injuries or illness and life-threatening conditions that cannot be dealt with by your pharmacist, GP or at an NHS walk-in centre.

Find your nearest A&E department


Our eyes rarely hurt when something is wrong with them, so having regular eye tests is important to help detect potentially harmful conditions.

The NHS recommends that you should get your eyes tested every two years (more often if advised by your ophthalmic practitioner or optometrist).

An NHS sight (eye) test is free of charge if you are aged 18 and under and in full-time education. For more information about what services an optician may offer, and for information on what to expect during an eye test please visit the NHS website.

To find an optician near to your university accommodation, please input your post code in the search bar on the NHS website.