Christmas break: Accessing health services and staying safe

We hope you all have a fantastic Christmas break. In this article, you’ll find information about health services you can access, as well as tips to keep you and your University home safe.

The majority of University services and departments will be closed over the Christmas period from 5pm on Friday, 20 December until 9am on Thursday, 2 January. However, see here for detailed University services opening information, and emergency support.

Accessing health services

There are a number of health services on campus and in the city for students.

If you’re registered with Student Health in Liverpool, but are going back home to spend time with friends and family over Christmas, there are still some simple and effective ways you can access health advice.

Here’s a run-down of what health services you can access and where over the Christmas period:

Get help online with Brownlow Health

Health advice can be accessed via Brownlow Health’s eConsultation service. The service enables you to make and cancel appointments, get advice about a specific condition or general advice from a clinician. You can also order repeat prescriptions and access your GP records online. Brownlow Health also offers extended access via email and telephone appointments.

You can register easily online via the Brownlow Health website or contact the practice via telephone on 0151 285 4578.


Your local pharmacist will offer consultations and provide advice and treatment for a range of minor illnesses.

All students are entitled to free prescriptions up to the age of 19, when statutory prescription prices will then apply.

Walk-in centres

Walk-in centres are nurse-led services at sites across the city, which provide treatment for minor illnesses and injuries. They also give confidential health advice. Their opening times vary and information can be found on the NHS website. No appointment is needed.

NHS 111

111 is the NHS non-emergency number. It’s fast, easy and free. Call 111 and speak to a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals. They will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for you.

NHS 111 is available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

Local GP

If you do choose to see a GP in the place where you are spending the holidays, you may be seen by registering with them as a temporary resident only. This temporary GP should ask you to complete a GMS3 form, so that when you return to Liverpool you can remain with your permanent GP.

Out-of-hours GP service

For access to GP support and advice at the weekend, please phone your GP practice number and you will be directed to the out-of-hours service. Keep a pen and paper handy to jot any information down.

Hospital accident and emergency departments

Hospital accident and emergency is for serious illness or accidents that need urgent treatment in hospital.

If you are unsure whether you need to visit hospital, please ring your GP practice, call NHS 111 or attend the walk-in centre for advice.

Sexual health advice

To access free, local sexual health advice and services, such as free contraception including Intra Uterine Devices (IUD) and emergency contraception, or for information regarding sexually shared infections or pregnancy testing, please visit the Sexual Health Liverpool website, where you will find lots of useful information.

Protect your property

To keep your property safe, follow these top tips:

  • If you are leaving the house, remember to always lock all doors and windows and activate any house alarms
  • Light timers are a good way of making it appear that the house or flat is occupied
  • Make sure that any valuables are not in view. Close curtains at night. You can also register your possessions for free with Immobilise, the national property register
  • If you live in a flat or shared accommodation, make sure you know who is following you in to the building
  • Prevent flooding – know where your main stop valve is. Follow the winter weather advice from United Utilities

Visit the Liverpool Student Homes website for more information on home security.

Personal safety

Many of you will spend some time visiting the various pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants in the area. Follow these simple tips to make sure you plan a safe night out:

  • Drink responsibly – You are far more vulnerable when you have had an alcoholic drink, especially if you are on your own. Try and stay with a group of friends. Eat before you go out, and try to alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks.
  • Never leave your drink unattended or accept a drink from a stranger if you didn’t see it being prepared.
  • Enjoy the celebrations, but know your limits and stay in control. Find out more about Drink Less Enjoy More.
  • Plan your journey home before you set off. Pre-book a taxi, or arrange a lift with a non-drinker. Perhaps even select one of your group to be the designated driver.
  • Remember to use a licensed taxi or black cab. Don’t hitch-hike or accept lifts from strangers.
  • Remember, there is safety in numbers – don’t wander off on your own. If you do walk home, try to stick to main roads which are well populated, even if it means taking a longer alternative route. Avoid poorly lit areas including alleyways.
  • If you are travelling alone on public transport, try to avoid waiting alone at isolated bus stops. Have change ready to avoid getting your purse or wallet out in public.
  • Travel sensibly – listening with headphones or talking on the phone while out and about reduces your awareness of what’s around you.
  • If you need to withdraw cash, try to do it in the day, when there are more people about and only take out what you need. Make sure you protect your PIN. If you do need to withdraw cash late at night use a machine in a well-lit area and stay with friends.
  • Be aware of strangers asking for money. There are many organisations in Liverpool who can help vulnerable people, you shouldn’t hand over money. If you are concerned on campus please direct the person to Campus Support on Bedford Street, opposite the Sports Centre. If you feel threatened call the team on 0151 794 2222 (in an emergency), 0151 794 3252 (non-emergency) and ask for assistance.
  • Never get involved in violence. Even if you didn’t start a fight you can still be fined or arrested for being involved.
  • Attract help if you need it – If you feel threatened, make as much noise as possible to identify yourself in order to warn off the individual and to attract help from others.