UHCS service improvements and updates

Updates for students from University Health and Counselling Service (UHCS).

UHCS selected by Pro Care as an Elite practice 

The University’s Health and Counselling Service (UHCS) has been selected by Pro Care as an elite practice. Based on this designation, they will be leading a working group to develop a quality assurance initiative to use as an exemplar for the upcoming cornerstone quality improvement modules, which all cornerstone practices will need to complete. 

The UHCS working group have put together a three-step quality improvement framework around improving access for Maori and Pasifika patients. They will soon be presenting their model to a group of Auckland general practice teams at a workshop, which will then be used to highlight best practice to other general practice teams. 

New clinic offerings

Two nurses at UHCS have recently been trained as nurse prescribers. This means that they are now able to prescribe a whole host of different medications for students, which would normally have resulted in a doctor's appointment. 

Several of the UHCS team are now trained in LARCS (long-acting reversible contraceptive) insertion. This means we can now run more clinics to ensure we are offering our female students effective and safe contraceptive support. The clinics have been incredibly popular in the last few weeks. UHCS are also receiving funding to provide free LARCS for our domestic students. This is provided by the DHB, who are utilizing general practices to reduce waiting times for such procedures. 

Research study on depression treatments

UHCS will be supporting Professor Bruce Arroll in his randomized controlled trail of behavioural activation (talking therapies) versus sertraline (medication). Bruce is aiming to see how talking therapies compare to standard medications for depression. He will be based in UHCS and with consent working with some of our students who meet the criteria. Professor Arroll will be providing UHCS staff with his training FACT (focused acceptance and commitment therapy), a well know model of brief therapy that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies to help people transform their relationship with unwanted, distressing experiences - such as disturbing thoughts, unpleasant emotions, painful memories, or uncomfortable physical symptoms. Full ethics approval has been obtained and this should start hopefully in a few months.