A new initiative has been announced today between the University of Canterbury (UC) Health Centre and Lincoln University’s Student Health and Support Centre.
Both the UC Health Centre and Lincoln University’s Student Health and Support Centre face growing student demand, particularly for mental health services.
Working together, they are commencing a project to help deliver exemplary health and wellbeing services that better support tertiary students in the Ōtautahi Christchurch and broader Waitaha Canterbury region.
To lead this project, a Joint Medical Director role has been established. Doctor Joan Allardyce, current Medical Director at UC Health, has been appointed to the role.
Director of Wellness Services Steve Gibling said: “Over the next 18 months, staff at both medical centres will have the opportunity to benefit from Dr Allardyce’s 40-plus years of experience in the student medical services space as well as her observations of hundreds of NZ primary medical practices before she enjoys her retirement.”
Dr Hamish Cochrane, Director Student Administration and Student Health, Lincoln University added: “The project has been set up to leverage best practice and efficiencies within both centres, through analysing commonalities and differences between the two medical centres, sharing knowledge and expertise.”
There are no plans to merge the services and this role has been created to benefit from Dr Allardyce’s expertise and enable her to have the time to consider best practice opportunities and the optimal model to deliver health services to tertiary students in Waitaha Canterbury into the future.
There will be no other staffing changes at either medical centre, and UC and LU students will continue to access health services at their respective universities as usual.
Dr Allardyce’s clinical case load at the UC Health Centre and an acting Deputy Medical Director will be backfilled, ensuring all teams can continue to run to full capacity.
This announcement follows a number of existing collaborative projects between Lincoln and UC, including the Children’s University Canterbury Partnership, a joint Postgraduate Research School including CRIs, and a new jointly taught qualification.