The University of St Andrews are now providing a dedicated service at St Andrews Community Hospital, to help direct students to the right service.
The move follows recognition that a service better designed to meet student needs would also better serve the local community.
The University is aware that many students request to see doctors when, in fact, another NHS healthcare provider might be more appropriate. It is estimated that up to 80 per cent of students seeking GP appointments do not require to see a doctor.
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The result has been pressure on the GP appointments system and longer waiting times.
Now the University and local NHS care providers are pleased to announce the launch of a new Student Healthcare Strategy, designed to deliver the service students need while also improving the healthcare response for local people.
Director of Student Wellbeing Projects at the University of St Andrews, Dr Chris Lusk, said: “In the past waiting times have been as long as three weeks for a doctor’s appointment, but with University investment and the wholehearted cooperation of our local GPs, we are all optimistic that waiting times will be brought right down, assuring appropriate access for students and residents alike.”
Local MP Stephen Gethins has welcomed the launch of service saying: “This is a great idea which should make attending hospital for non-emergency appointments better for everyone and reduce waiting times. The University should be commended on this innovative approach and significant investment, which is a great example of town and gown working well together.”
MSP Willie Rennie said: “I am pleased to hear the University is taking positive action to relieve the pressure on our local services.
“The students are a welcome addition to the town but he significant increase in population increases demand on public services. The University are to be commended in stepping up to help increase the service provision.”