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Student Healthcare at QMU

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All new students should ensure that they are immunised before they start University.

MMR vaccination call following recent measles cases in university students

Public Health England and Universities UK are asking students to check that they have had two doses of the MMR vaccine in the past, following an increase in confirmed cases of measles over the past few weeks.

Cases have mainly been confirmed in unimmunised adolescents and young adults, some of which are known to be university students in the South. Many of these cases have been admitted to hospital.

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can be very unpleasant and sometimes lead to serious complications. It’s now uncommon in the UK because of the effective MMR vaccination programme. Although it may be a mild illness in children, measles can be more severe in adults. Those who are unvaccinated, or not fully vaccinated, remain susceptible to the disease.

It’s never too late to have the vaccine. Students who have not received two doses of the vaccine in the past – or who are unsure – should speak to their GP. There’s no harm in receiving an additional dose if there is any uncertainty.

Students are also asked to remain alert to measles, which can include cold-like symptoms, sore red eyes, a high temperature or a red-brown blotchy rash. Those experiencing symptoms should seek medical attention, but phone ahead before visiting GP surgeries so arrangements can be made to prevent others from being infected. Those who have been in close contact with someone who has measles should also see their GP, if they have not been fully vaccinated (had two doses of the MMR vaccine) or haven’t had the infection before – particularly those who are immunosuppressed, pregnant or infants.

Two doses of MMR vaccine are routinely provided as part of the NHS Childhood Immunisation Programme in England. Uptake is now high with more than 90% of children receiving 1 dose of the vaccine by 2 years of age, but uptake of the vaccine was lower at the time the majority of current university students were offered the vaccine as children.  

This week (commencing 25 April) is European Immunisation Week and PHE has published a blog on the avoidable health threats every student should know about . Keep an eye on their Twitter account  - @PHE_UK – and Facebook page ‘Public Health England’ for further advice.

Meningitis and Septicaemia

Protect yourself against meningitis and septicaemia – you should get the Men C immunisation before you come – find out more at Meningitis C leaflet for university students

Advice for 16-18 year olds is available at:-

Check you are up to date with other vaccines. See recommended immunisations for 20-24 year olds

General information on meningitis is available at


Ebola Outbreak

Ebola guidance for Students travelling to African countries at Christmas

Please read the attached if visiting African countries over the Christmas period.

The Ebola Outbreak has been declared an international emergency. The current message is that in the UK the risk is low but that the spreading of the virus is being closely monitored. Anyone intending to travel to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea should check the information National Travel Health Network and Centre - NaTHNaC

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is providing regular updates at

NHS Scotland have issued the following information on how to assess and manage any suspected cases.


Information on Mumps

What is Mumps?

  • Mumps is an infection caused by the mumps virus.
  • Mumps was a common childhood infection prior to the introduction of MMR vaccination.
  • Since 2005 there has been an ongoing outbreak of mumps in the UK. Cases are occurring most commonly in young adults (up to age 26) who have not been fully immunised. People in this age group should check with their doctor whether they have completed a course of two doses of MMR vaccination. If not, the course of vaccination should be completed.

What are the symptoms?

  • The illness begins with headache and fever. Swelling of the salivary glands on one or both sides of the face usually develops one or two days later. The fever may last up to six days and the swelling may last up to 10 days or more. Up to a third of infected people may have no symptoms.
  • In a small proportion of people mumps may cause complications including meningitis, deafness and inflammation of the testes or ovaries and other organs.

How do you catch it?

  • You can catch mumps by direct contact with saliva or droplets from the saliva of an infected person. People with mumps are infectious from about one week before until ten days after the onset of swelling.

How is it diagnosed?

  • Mumps is usually diagnosed by a saliva (spit) test, a throat swab or a blood test.

Is there any treatment?

  • There is no specific treatment for mumps infection.

What should you do if you develop symptoms?

  • People who develop symptoms of mumps should not attend work/school/university and advice should be sought from their doctor. If mumps is diagnosed, they should remain off until fully recovered but no less than five days after the onset of parotid swelling. This minimises the risk of spread of infection to others.

Can it be prevented?

  • Yes. Giving MMR vaccine can prevent mumps. MMR contains mumps, measles and rubella vaccines. If you did not receive two doses of MMR then the course can be finished at any time.
  • Some people may not have received two doses of MMR, but may have received MR (measles/rubella) vaccine in the 1994 school catch-up campaign. The MR vaccine used in this catch-up campaign did not contain a mumps vaccine, and only protected against measles and rubella. These people should have a second dose of MMR to ensure they are adequately protected against mumps. If in doubt, your doctor will be able to confirm which vaccinations you have had in the past.

We strongly advise that all students should register with a local Medical Practice.

Primary health care under the National Health Service (NHS) is available to all students. You should register with a Medical Practice as soon as possible after arriving at QMU.

If you are from another area of the UK, please bring your NHS Medical Card with you to University.

If you are from the European Economic Area [EEA} or Switzerland, please bring your European Health Insurance Card [EHIC} with you to University.

Living on campus or locally around Musselburgh

Student Services works in partnership with the Riverside Medical Practice in Musselburgh, and the QMU Students’ Union, to provide healthcare for our students who live on campus or locally in the Musselburgh area.

You can access the Riverside Medical Practice website where you will find lots of useful information. There is also a web page specifically for QMU Students. Contact Number for Riverside is 0131-446-4171

If you do not wish to register with our partner Riverside Medical Practice, there are two other Medical Practices in Musselburgh:

The Eskbridge Medical Centre

The West Esk Medical Group

All three practices are now housed in the same building which is called Musselburgh Primary Care Centre. The address is - Musselburgh Primary Care Centre, Inveresk Road, Musselburgh, East Lothian, EH21 7BP

Living in Edinburgh

If you will be living in Edinburgh city whilst studying at QMU, you can find a medical practice near you by going onto the NHS24 website to find your local GP Practice - .

How to use the NHS

The website hosts videos in different languages which provides a clear and simple guide to the NHS in Scotland.

Medical emergencies outwith opening hours (6pm onwards)
Call NHS 24 directly by phoning: 111 outwith 6 pm to 8 am.

How can you help yourself?
Many common aches and pains can be simply treated at home without the need to see a doctor. High quality information on more than 800 health conditions and treatments which can be searched by A-Z on the NHS Inform Health A-Z .

Other useful resources

NHS inform – Mental Health and Wellbeing zone  

A gateway to Scottish-focused information on different aspects of mental health and wellbeing such as:

  • Stress Management
  • Helping Yourself and Accessing Help
  • Worried About Someone

Breathing Space

Breathing Space is a free , confidential phone and web based service for any individual who is experiencing low mood or depression , or who is unusually worried and in need of someone to talk to. Call 0800 83 85 87 (Mon-Thurs 6pm-2am and weekends 24hrs) or visit

Living Life

NHS Living Life is a telephone support service based on a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approach. NHS Living Life Guided Self Help is available to anyone over the age of 16 suffering low mood , mild to moderate depression and/or anxiety. Call 0800 328 9655 (Mon-Fri 1pm-9pm) to make an appointment. 

Sexual Health Scotland

Whether we're part of a couple , in a new relationship , have many partners or are happy and relaxed with no sex , everyone needs to take care of their sexual wellbeing.

Occupational Health is based at the Astley Ainslie Hospital, 133 Grange Loan, Edinburgh EH9 2HL, Tel: 0131 537 9369.

Hep B Injection - Please speak to your Programme Leader re up-to-date information.

Meningitis: As a student you are at risk of meningococcal meningitis. Vaccination with the 'Men C' vaccine will protect you against Group C meningitis and septicaemia. You will still have the potential risk of contracting one of the other forms, in particular Group B. There is no vaccination for this at present. We encourage you to be familiar with the signs and symptoms and be a good neighbour by looking in on any friends who you know are not well.

If you suspect someone has meningitis:


  • The Riverside Medical Practice, Musselburgh Primary Care Centre,
    Inveresk Road, Musselburgh, East Lothian, EH21 7BP - 0131 446 4171
  • Dial 999, if appropriate.




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last modified 02/05/2016 Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh EH21 6UU - Tel: +44 (0)131 474 0000
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