Information for parents and carers

Find out what your son or daughter should do if they are coming to University with a medical condition.

My son or daughter has a medical condition.  Should he/she stay registered at his home GP practice?

It is usually best to register at Student Health. There may be a few exceptions, for example, if your son or daughter is waiting for treatment locally, or their GP has been prescrbing a medication that is not normally prescribed on the NHS (this may include private ADHD medication for example) Otherwise we can refer new patients to our local out-patient departments in Bristol hospitals. Please ask your son or daughter to bring their most recent clinic letters with them and book a routine appointment with one of our doctors when they arrive in Bristol. 

What about repeat medication?

Please ask your son/daughter to book a routine appointment with one of our clinicians to discuss their medication.The easiest way to do this (once registered) is to download the NHS App or register with Patient Access. Please ensure that they have sufficient medication with them when they arrive in Bristol to keep them going until they have an appointment. 

Can I speak to Students’ Health about my son or daughter’s medical problems?

Now that your son/daughter is an adult we are unable to discuss any medical issue with you without their consent. However, many students choose to allow their family to discuss their medical issues. They need to confirm this in writing by emailing our office: when they register or when they talk to a GP, and we will put it on their records. Otherwise, you can always contact us to let us know important information, even if we can't divulge information to you. 

What about medication over the university holidays?

We can supply medication over the holidays and can send electronic prescriptions on-line to most UK locations except Wales and Northern Ireland.

I am studying at University of Bristol and I have dependents living with me.  Can I register my family at Students’ Health Service?

You can register your partner and dependent children but you have to come in person to do this. You cannot register them on line.

What additional support is available at the University of Bristol beyond the health/GP service?

Students can access further information on the support available via the Student Wellbeing Service.
If you are a parent and wish to speak to the University directly about your son or daughter, check what the University are able to tell you.

How do I let the doctors know something about my child’s health if I am worried about them?

You can email us confidentially at We cannot respond directly to questions without the consent of the patient.


A carer is anyone who provides help and support to a partner, relative, child, friend or neighbour who could not manage without their help due to physical or mental illness, disability, or addiction. 

Anyone can become a carer at any age. Many people don’t think of themselves as carers; they just look after someone close to them. Caring often just happens to you, as you find that someone close to you gradually needs more help. There are thousands of unpaid carers in Bristol.

You may be a carer whether or not you live in the same house as the person you care for. If you receive a Carers Allowance or a direct payment to enable you to buy a service or equipment to help you in your caring role you are still a carer. If the person you care for, moves to live in a residential or nursing home you may still be a carer if you spend time managing their affairs and making sure that they are well cared for.

Look after your own health – tell your GP you are a carer

  • As a carer, it is important that you look after your own health so that you can go on caring for as long as you want to. 
  • Ask at reception to register yourself as a carer with the practice.
  • Get the Carers Emergency Card which identifies you as a carer so that if you are taken seriously ill or you have an accident, anybody who finds you can ring the number on the card and tell the Emergency Communications Team that the person you care for needs help. This team can then provide up to 72 hours of care for that person in their own home.
  • The only information held on the card other than the emergency telephone number is your carer PIN Number; the card carries no other personal information about you or the person or people you care for.

If the person you care for pays Council Tax in Bristo,l call Care Direct to order your card on: 0117 922 2700 or email:

Get a carers assessment and the services you need

  • You may also need practical support to care. This could be someone to sit with the person you care for while you go out, equipment to help you to lift or move the person you care for, or info about local carers support organisations. The best place to start looking for help is your local social services department. To get help, social services will usually assess the person you care for to see what help he/she might be eligible to receive. Carers who frequently provide help to the person they look after are also entitled to an assessment, called a Carers Assessment.
  • In Bristol, social services for adults is called Adult Health and Social Care; the contact number to refer yourself and/or the person you care for is the Care Direct number 0117 922 2700. You can also email
  • Children and Young People’s services in Bristol, can be contacted on: 0117 922 2000.
  • If you are not receiving any services to help with your caring responsibilities from the council or NHS you may benefit from a 'carers simple assessment'. Carers simple assessments can lead to funding for you to take a break from caring, or for equipment to help you in your caring role. Contact Carersline on 0117 965 2200 to find out more. For independent advice about whether a carers assessment is right for you, call Carersline on 0117 965 2200.

Are you missing out on any money you are entitled to?

  • The benefit system is complicated and finding out what you are entitled to can be difficult. For example many people who are eligible for Carers Allowance are not aware of it and miss out as a result.
  • If you think you might be missing out or just want some advice on what you might be entitled to, please call your local Carers Line on  0117 965 2200. They will also be able to make sure the person you look after isn’t missing out on any of their entitlements as many carers pay out of their own pockets to pay their relatives’ bills.

Contact your local Carers’ Support Centre

  • The Carers’ Support Centre is a local charity that can provide you with information, advice and advocacy on any aspect of caring and local support services that might be useful.
  • They can put you in touch with other organisations that offer specialist support, for example support for carers of people with dementia, mental health problems, recovering from a stroke or dealing with drug and alcohol problems. 
  • The Carers’ Support Centre provides a range of services such as help with Carers assessments, volunteer sitting service, pamper days and subsidized carers holidays to give carers some time off from caring.
  • For information, advice or just an understanding, listening ear call the Carers’ Support Centre confidentially: CarersLine 0117 9652200

Tell people at work you are a carer

  • Juggling work and looking after someone can be difficult. Having an understanding and knowledgeable employer or manager can make this easier. Telling work you are a carer is not always an easy step and you might feel it depends on whether your employer is likely to be supportive. However, there may be existing support you are not aware of, colleagues may be supportive or they may even be in a similar caring situation themselves.
  • As a carer you have the legal right to request flexible working to help you balance caring and work responsibilities - your employer has to seriously consider this request.  You also have the right to time off in an emergency to care for someone.
  • You have the right to take a ‘reasonable’ amount of time off work to deal with an emergency involving a dependent. This right also includes some protection from victimization and dismissal. It is at the employer’s discretion whether the leave is paid or unpaid.

Talk to someone about how being a carer affects you

  • It is important to be aware of the affect that caring has on you and your own health. Talking about this can help in itself or be the first step to getting the support that you need. The Carers Support Centre provide free specialist counselling and telephone befriending services and carers’ groups that meet regularly across the city to share practical ideas, support and friendship. To find out more about these options call CarersLine 0117 9652200

Useful organisations

Support for parents of students with mental health problems

HappyMaps is a registered charity for parents who need advice and support for their child's mental health. There's also a separate section of information and resources for young people themselves with best websites, helplines, books and more.

HappyMaps was developed by one of our GPs, Dr Jasmin Krischer. 

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