Innovative mental health care for students gains national recognition

18 Apr 2011 16:00:00.000

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The work of The University of Nottingham Health Service (UNHS), better known to its 35,000 patients as the Cripps Health Centre, has been recognised for the second year running after being shortlisted for a national BMJ Group Award.

The UNHS is one of the biggest single site GP practices in the country. Most patients are students and staff at The University of Nottingham, and the vast majority are aged between 18 and 30.

Last year the team was shortlisted for its exceptional work in sexual health. This year UNHS has gained recognition for developing an innovative approach to mental health care. As a result of their work they are one of three GP practices shortlisted by a prestigious panel of international experts for the Primary Care Team of the Year Award.
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Daniel Hammersley, Business Manager for the UNHS, said: “Two years ago the practice identified mental health as a clinical priority. Working closely with University student support services and the Students’ Union the UNHS has developed a more sensitive, accessible and holistic mental health service.

We are delighted to have been shortlisted once again and recognised as specialists in the provision of student health care.  It is a testament to the commitment of our entire team and the strong working relationship between the health service, the University and the wider health community.

Funded by the PCT we have also created a research post to study the health needs of international students.”
The Primary Care Team of the Year award recognises GP practices that demonstrate improved outcomes in patient care. 

Robin Dollery, Head of Student Services at The University of Nottingham, said: “With such a large and diverse student population it is essential that we have a full range of mental health support available at our Health Centre to complement and work in partnership with other University Support Services such as our Counselling Service and Disability Support. We now feel that we can refer to student specialist services in a more timely and effective manner and thus support students to achieve maximum benefit from their studies at Nottingham. We are delighted that our highly regarded colleagues have been recommended for this award.”

The UNHS is staffed by 45 professionals and includes 12 GPs. With support from experts in psychology, psychiatry and cognitive behaviour therapy the practice has specialisms in sexual health, mental health, dermatology, travel medicine and sport medicine as well as providing clinics for smoking, alcohol and eating disorders.

Their work on sexual health and dermatology has proved so successful the idea is being used by GP practices across the country. Modelled specifically for students their innovative approach to mental health is already gaining national recognition.

The BMJ Group Awards ceremony, hosted by author and BBC Newsnight presenter Gavin Esler and the BMJ’s editor-in-chief Dr Fiona Godlee, is being held at the London Hilton on the evening of Wednesday May 18 2011.

— Ends —

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world’s most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 40,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power. The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

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Story credits

More information is available from Daniel Hammersley on +44 (0)115 846 8888,
Lindsay Brooke

Lindsay Brooke - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park

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