UK Student Health Association Annual Conference 2019

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The 71st Annual Conference of the UK Student Health Association took place at Sheffield University from 30th June- 3rd July 2019. An extremely well organised event with a wide variety of visiting speakers and educational workshops, the conference attracted members from all over the UK and some delegates who attended even travelled from as far away as New Zealand. The Irish Student Health Association was represented and attended this year by Nurse Theresa Lowry Lehnen.

Situated in the foothills of the East Pennines in the valley of the River Don, Sheffield famed for its industry in the 1900s remains a city of innovation to this day. The smoking chimney stacks have been replaced by a green, modern cityscape set against the stunning backdrop of the Peak District National Park. There are more than 250 parks, woodlands and gardens in the city, which is estimated to contain around 4.5 million trees.

Sheffield University is ranked 106th in the world and 12th in the UK. It also ranks at number 42 out of 200 universities in Europe and in the top 50 most international universities in the world, with a ranking of 42 out of 800 leading universities worldwide (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019). In 2014, The Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey ranked Sheffield University first for student experience, social life, University facilities and accommodation. The University Health Service (UHS) has been a part of the University of Sheffield since 1937, which makes it the oldest of such services in the country. As with all University practices, UHS has grown dramatically over the decades and now has in excess of 38,000 patients.

On Sunday afternoon, delegates at the conference were treated to a guided walk and activities at Sheffield Botanical Gardens. This was followed by a drinks reception and opening dinner at the Halifax Hall Hotel, where we were welcomed by Michael Jakubovic Medical Director of UHS. The opening night included The Nick Malleson Memorial Lecture 'Write the Head' delivered by Kathryn Littlewood and an after dinner talk on 'Humanitarian and Emergency Responses' provided by Professor Tony Ryan.

Breakfasts, academic talks and workshops were provided on campus at 'The Edge' conference centre, and very comfortable residential accommodation was provided for delegates at the Jonas Hotel. There was a great line up of speakers and a wide variety of workshops for delegates to choose from over the following two days.

Monday 1st July: Workshops and talks included,

· Teenagers and bondage: what do we know of changing behaviours of young people with exposure to pornography

· Asthma Group Consultations

· Tech Talks

· Optimising IUS in your practice – The benefits of offering IUS in your service model of care at a University practice

· Working Together as a Team / Building a Resilient Team

· Suicide risk assessment : Links with self-harm

· Case Studies: Student Traveller/Gap Year

· Managing Conflict at Work

· Preventing sudden epilepsy death - how knowledge can save lives and how you can help

· What's New in Sexual Health

· Chinese Language Crash Course

Tuesday 2nd July commenced with the Annual General Meeting and workshops and talks on the day included;

· New GP Contract (PCN) Q & A – NHS England

· Student Mental Health - Key Challenges

· Sports Medicine - Basic Principles & Practical Applications

· Employment Law Q&A

· Update on Meningococcal Disease and Vaccination in the UK

· Understanding Young Adult Brain Development & Why it Matters in Clinical Care

· Eating Disorders

· What Shape Are You?

· Improving Outcomes & Reducing Risk: the Role of Technology in Diabetes

· Overview of Transgender Health in Primary Care

· Change Management

· 'Borderline Personality Disorder' - how to help in a crisis

· Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll: How to Keep Safe with Diabetes

· Chinese Healthcare Compared to NHS

The Monday evening social was a great night out at 'The Fat Cat' Victorian pub at Kelham Island featuring entertainment, great food and a quiz. The Annual Dinner on the Tuesday evening was held at 'Kelham Island Museum', a striking Victorian building situated on a man-made island over 900 years old. The Museum boasts magnificent backdrops against the flow of the passing River Don. Transport was provided for delegates to and from the social venues.

The overall conference experience was most enjoyable and one where delegates could socialise and relax as well as spend time on education and networking. We were spoilt for choice with such a wide variety of excellent talks and workshops to choose from daily. The sun shone throughout the three day event and a wonderful time was had by all.

Thanks so much to the organisers of this wonderful 71st Annual Conference. You did yourselves, the UK Student Health Association and Sheffield University Proud!

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