St Andrew's welcomes medical students in new Unive

St Andrew's Healthcare this month welcomed the first of many groups of medical students from the University of Buckingham as part of their degree course.

Ten students are the first group of undergraduates from the University to undertake a mental health placement at St Andrew’s. They will spend seven weeks at the charity’s Northampton site, receiving classroom based teaching from St Andrew’s clinicians and gaining clinical skills training within the charity’s wards. In total, six groups will enjoy a placement with St Andrew’s each year.

St Andrew’s provides mental healthcare across six ‘pathways’ including mental health services for men, women and young people, those with autistic spectrum disorders or learning disabilities, and people with brain injuries or degenerative neurological conditions. The medical students will rotate across each pathway to gain valuable insight into the broad spectrum of conditions treated by psychiatrists.

Katina Anagnostakis, Associate Medical Director for Training and Education at St Andrew’s said: “Psychiatry is notoriously under-recruited, and so it’s vital to make the mental health block of a medical degree engaging and inspiring. That way we hope to tempt more doctors to specialise in psychiatry – and help address the growing demand for mental health services.

“We’ve worked hard to deliver a course that we hope will be insightful and inspiring for the students. We’ve also refurbished and updated our Academic Centre to provide a welcoming and supportive base for all the undergraduates that are on placements with us. In total we host around 300 students a year.”

Professor John Clapham, Chief Operating Officer for the University of Buckingham Medical School, said: “We are delighted to be working with St Andrew’s Healthcare. Their expertise and depth of knowledge will be an enormous benefit to our students as evidenced by the superb curriculum they have developed for this programme. This is going to be a very successful partnership.”

The partnership with the University of Buckingham further expands St Andrew’s strong reputation as a centre of education. The charity already works with a number of universities both for medical degrees and nursing qualifications. Partners include the Cambridge University, the University of Northampton, De Montfort University and the University of Bedfordshire.