It has been announced by Scott Dawson, YUSU Welfare and Community Officer, that Unity Health Care, the on-campus healthcare provider, has increased its staffing provisions following student criticism.
The criticism, which came as a response to recent student feedback, was centred around waiting times and appointment shortages in particular.
According to Dawson: “As a result of the feedback from the student patient participation group (PPG) and general comments and complaints from students, Unity Health has increased its provision for the early morning drop in sessions. This includes introducing an extra nurse and an extra doctor throughout the morning.
“They are also opening their doors at 8:30am again instead of 8am as the new set up simply resulted in the queue starting earlier as opposed to more students being seen.
“Unity Health staff are keen to continue improving their service and I would recommend all students to voice any further concerns with myself ([email protected]) or the Unity Health feedback form on their site.”
One first year student who recently visited the service commented how she “still had to wait outside in freezing conditions” only to be told that she would have to come back another day, due to the fact that the service didn’t have the necessary gender of doctor.
“After being told that I was unable to make an appointment anytime soon I asked if I could see a female doctor, to which I was told that only men were working that day and that I would have to return another morning to see if I could be seen.”
She went on to say that, “generally the service was great once I saw a doctor, but the process doesn’t seem to have improved at all from these recent changes, from what I can see.”
The news comes after this paper wrote a piece highlighting students having to wait outside and facing large waiting times on appointments, among other complaints.
It remains unclear as to whether the waiting times for appointments have changed as a result of the changing in staffing provisions. However, another first year student at Halifax College stated that, “despite this being welcome news, I think it is clear that the causes are much deeper than just having one more member of staff”.
There are currently plans under consultation for a new doctors surgery to be constructed on the Heslington East campus. From their research, Unity Health said: “The general feeling from patients is that they support the new Health Centre proposal and understand the need for larger premises.” Information on opening times and contact details for Unity Health surgeries can be found on their website, www.unityhealth.info.