Fostering relationships to strengthen clinical practice


How do we best connect Caring Future Institute’s world-leading researchers with the University’s educational specialists and pass the sum of this expertise on to clinical practice? This challenge is being addressed by Professor Lucy Chipchase in her role as Deputy Dean Clinical and Community Practices at Flinders University. She is developing a strategic partnership framework which will enable the College of Nursing and Health Sciences to establish links and engage with all the key partners across the health and primary care sector.

“It’s a vast horizon to explore and identify all the college’s key partners – from huge organisations such as SA Health and SAHLN, through to small operations that are helping to bring new research to life for consumers,” says Professor Chipchase. “But there is great value that partnerships within the CFI umbrella can achieve for all these partners with the transition from policy to practice, because all parties get reciprocal benefits.”

Through fostering these new relationships, partners are learning to work together in previously untested ways that can best assist each other. This includes such groups as SONDER, an inclusive, not-for-profit organisation that has been providing better quality health and support services to the South Australian community since 1993.

For SONDER, chronic health management clinic was a vital part of their business that has benefitted from the College, led by Dr Olivia Farrer, has collaborated to develop a highly successful student-led clinic that has attracted additional funding.

Another developing partnership is progressing with Novita, a disability services provider that who provide placements for dozens of Flinders allied health students and is keen to build those student placements. Novita are also collaborating with Professor Sally Robinson to implement research. “Our values on interprofessional practise, care and research are the same, and there are great benefits coming from us working together,” says Professor Chipchase.

An impressive partnership with a smaller organisation is developing with Leading Therapies, a private allied health companies providing NDIS and Aged Care packages in the home, who were unable to recruit a speech therapist, due to workforce shortages. Claire Coulter, our Placement Education Coordinator for Speech Pathology curated an innovative solution that now see four Flinders students working under interprofessional supervision at Leading Therapies, with the prospect of possible future employment. “It’s a win-win situation that benefits everybody.”

Looking forward, Professor Chipchase sees a need to grow our partnerships in rural and regional areas, to accurately reflect the large numbers of students that Flinders sends to these areas for placements.


Professor Lucy Chipchase


Our Health2Go clinic at Flinders University’s Sturt Campus is now a vibrant facility where Flinders practitioners work and students obtain vital experience. Such a high-profile facility with high-volume traffic is providing a very public interface that promotes the best attributes of our nursing and allied health programs.

The College is hosting a Partnering for Success Workshop on 29 November that illustrate our collaborative relationships, where the College’s key partners will explain the value they obtain from working with Flinders University. “It works especially well when partners share the same core values as Flinders University and the Caring Futures Institute. It’s why our values have to be so clearly drawn and transparent,” explains Professor Chipchase.

“What our partners say they like most are the raft of joint-positions in research that have been established by Professor Ray Chan and Professor Alison Kitson, with more joint-positions set to follow in the education space, focusing on such aspects as supervising students on work placements.

“We don’t work alone. It is through strong partnerships that we do our very best work for the community.”

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Integrated Care