Student Support FAQ

Below are some frequently asked questions relating to help within the Student Support Office. For any other queries or assistance, please contact the Student Support Office in the first instance, or telephone one of the numbers listed here.

  • How will I know where to find help?

    Our aim is to ensure that information is as widely accessible as possible and in a variety of formats. Students are sent regular e-mails regarding the service and this webpage is continually updated with everything you need to know. Printed information is also on display at all sites. If you need to meet or speak to a member of the support team we will aim to arrange that within a day if possible. If you are in any doubt about what support is available please use one of the contact numbers or the email address above and you will be advised appropriately.

  • How do I contact HYMS Student Support Office?

    Many queries or simple requests can be managed by email and this is often a good way of getting a rapid response from the team. You can email us at

    If you want to talk to us but do not have the time/are too far away to attend in person, a telephone appointment is often a solution. You can telephone us on 01482 463074, 01904 321695 or 01482 464025 for advice, to make an appointment or update us on an ongoing problem. If we cannot speak to you immediately we will arrange a telephone appointment. Please note, if the phone is not answered during the day, it is often because we are seeing another student and we do not take calls whilst doing this.

    Please email or contact us on one of the telephone numbers if you want a personal appointment and we will organise a meeting for you with a member of our team or a senior advisor.

  • Who will I be able to see?

    HYMS has a number of senior advisors and mentors available to meet with students. It is likely on many occasions that you will be directed by one of the Student Support Office staff to find further assistance within the Universities, from your GP or from other organisations. Students with more complex problems may need to see a HYMS advisor on more than one occasion and in exceptional circumstances may need a mentor for more intensive support. Please contact the student advisors below via

    Dr Veronica McKay, Senior Advisor, York
    Dr Jonathan Blakeborough, Senior Advisor, York/Hull
    Dr Alison Blakeborough, Senior Advisor, York

  • Can I choose who I see?

    Yes, of course. There are some limitations as tutors may only work on one site and on certain days. You may also be advised that a certain tutor is most likely to help with your problem but the choice is still yours. The office usually has at least one member of staff available every working day including any University holidays (other than the Christmas break and Bank Holidays).

    Please remember that, if for any reason, you wish to seek support out of the School service then the central Hull and York University services are available to you. Their details are available on the main Hull and York websites:-

    University of Hull Support Services

    University of York Support Services

  • When are appointments with HYMS Student Support available?

    It should be possible to see a tutor within a day or so but you may have to wait if you wish to see a certain tutor. If you are very distressed/have an urgent issue we will try to see you immediately but you may need to wait a short time until someone is free.

  • What sort of help can I get?

    Problems can occur in all aspects of life so the following areas are just examples of where the service can help:

    • Academic and learning support
    • Health issues - both physical and mental
    • Disability support
    • Careers advice
    • Personal and emotional problems
    • Advice on accommodation, finance, etc.

    The Student Support Office is particularly helpful if things are not going well and you do not know where to turn - we may be able to point you in the right direction. The service is a central information point where we can help you to identify and find the assistance you need.

  • Is it confidential?

    Yes, of course. We respect this and ensure the minimum numbers of people are involved in seeing or hearing any information you give us. File notes are kept with your permission as these can be useful to you and you can see these on request.    

    These notes are not kept with your Record of Achievement file.

    As this is a professional course, all students must be aware that in rare circumstances, staff may have to break confidentiality if they believe patient safety is an issue.

  • What services might the Student Support Office refer me to?

    The Student Support Office can direct you to a wide number of services that will be able to offer further help, depending on your personal issues. Services frequently recommended by the Student Support Office include general practitioners, occupational health, counselling or learning support. Remember that often these services are confidential so we may not know if you have used them. However, the recommendation is made as it is believed that you will benefit from the advice or help they can offer.

  • Does everything discussed at a Student Support meeting have to go on record?

    Not everything. If you discuss something particularly personal, you might ask the tutor not to make a specific note. File notes are kept to help tutors if you re-attend and can be very helpful if you need to present mitigating circumstances at the point of exams. You will be asked to agree and sign the notes at the end of the interview so that you know exactly what is recorded on them. The notes are kept in a secure location away from your main student file.

  • Who has access to my Student Support records?

    Mainly the Student Support Team although other members of the School may view them but strictly on a “need to know” basis. By signing the notes, you agree that people may have access to these notes in certain circumstances. However, usually no one will see them other than the tutors you see in the service and the administrator who records them.

  • Can the Student Support Office help me with presenting a case for mitigating circumstances?

    Absolutely. This is one of our core roles. Should you need to submit mitigating circumstances, you will be advised make an appointment with us. The tutor you see can then explain how the process works and what evidence you need to provide.

    Members of Student Support Office team DO NOT participate in the final decision of the Mitigating Circumstances Committee.  

    Please remember that if you have not told us of a circumstance, we cannot help you present your case. Also, it is the Committee that makes the decision as to whether your mitigation is sufficient - not us! Whatever the outcome for you, we will try and offer any help you need afterwards.

  • Mitigating circumstances policy and form

    The policy and form on mitigating circumstances can be found on the HYMS website here.

  • Does the Student Support Office offer advice if I am going through Fitness to Practice?

    The Student Support Office does provide independent support which is separate to the investigation. The Hull and York University Support Services are also available to you. Their details are available on the main Hull and York websites:-

    University of Hull Support Services

    University of York Support Services

  • What if I wish to appeal?

    The Student Support Office provides pastoral support through the appeals process. HYMS are independent and not involved in the appeal process. The Student Support Office are not able to advise on the content of your appeal. However, the Hull and York University Support Services are able to advise on content of your appeal. Their details are available on the main Hull and York websites:-

    University of Hull Support Services

    University of York Support Services

  • When might it be necessary for the Student Support Office to break confidentiality?

    This is rare. However, we would do so if we felt that you, your colleagues or the public might be at risk, either now or in the future. We would always encourage you to agree to us passing on information but if we did so against your will, we would tell you that we were doing this along with our reasons. Your confidentiality is of utmost importance but not as important as your safety and that of our patients. All doctors must be absolutely honest and you cannot hide anything about yourself that might put patients at risk.

    When you sign your meeting notes, you agree to the information being shared as is necessary. If there are specific persons that you do not want to know, please discuss this further with the person advising you.
  • I have literacy problems but have never been formally assessed for dyslexia, should I make an appointment with Student Support?

    Yes, this is a sensible idea. A dyslexia assessment might be recommended if you continue to have problems.

  • Will what I discuss with Student Support be discussed with other members of staff?

    Generally, no. Often you will want us to discuss issues with certain staff to ensure you get the support you need, or we may be forced to break your confidentiality if we believe you, your colleagues or the public might be at risk (see ‘When might it be necessary for the Student Support Office to break confidentiality?’ FAQ). However, we NEVER discuss cases with staff at random. The Student Support Office Team will discuss your case between themselves if more than one tutor is involved in your care.

  • If I get awarded extra time in exams will this go on my record/count against me in the future?

    The reason for extra time in exams is that you are considered to have a disability which impacts on your written work and requires that allowances are made. Your disability will be recorded on your file and you must disclose this to your employers in the future. If you hide a disability and make a mistake because of that disability, then you are demonstrating lack of probity, which is a serious issue and might lead to an investigation by the General Medical Council.

  • Is Student Support only available during term time?

    No, with the exception of weekends and Bank Holidays, there will always be someone around to answer your queries. We see students frequently in the holiday periods.

  • Can Student Support help me with financial problems?

    The service can guide you to possible sources of financial help but we have no funding or budget of our own.
  • I have a health problem that is affecting my studies, if I go to the Student Support Office will they tell me that I can't continue with the course?

    Student Support NEVER makes a decision about a student’s future. They will help a student with a health problem as much as possible. However, if the problem is severe and unlikely to improve, or your studies are seriously affected, the Student Support Office may refer the case on to the relevant Phase Academic Lead or the MB BS Director for further consideration. You may also be referred to Occupational Health. Occasionally students do take up to a year out on health grounds. Most students would rather not do this but it is sometimes unavoidable. If this occurs, the absence and return is managed by the Student Support Office and the relevant Phase Lead with guidance from your healthcare advisors and Occupational Health.

  • Who do I speak to if there is a problem with my Clinical Placement?

    The Phase Co-ordinators and the Student Liaison Officers will be the best starting point. If necessary you will be referred to the Student Support Office Team. Please also refer to the Regulations and Code of Practice and the Conditions of Training information available on Blackboard (HYMS for All > Information for All).