27th May, 2019

University in talks on medical school bid

AMBITIOUS plans to train the doctors of the future in Worcester have been revealed after it emerged the city’s university has held talks to create a medical school.

The University of Worcester confirmed on Monday (January 23) it had been approached by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, about whether or not the university is interested in providing training places for medical doctors in the future.

It follows an announcement by the Government that it wants to expand training places for doctors by 1,500 in England from 2018, and the university has been asked if it wants to provide some of those extra places.

In response to the approach, the city’s university has since held preliminary talks with partners about the possibility of creating a medical school.

Last Wednesday (January 18) the university held a meeting with 100 doctors, including leading consultants, about the plans.

A further announcement on the proposals is expected by Easter.

Professor David Green, the University’s Vice Chancellor, said: “We are very serious about making an even broader beneficial impact in society by extending our education to include medical doctors, probably on a graduate entry basis.

“The preliminary discussions we are holding with partners have gone very well so far, but there is a long way to go before even this preliminary stage is complete.

“As soon as the university is in a position to make a public statement alongside our partners we will do so, but these discussions will take some time.”

Worcester’s MP, Robin Walker, welcomed the proposals and said the university could link up with the Worcestershire Royal to keep locally trained doctors in the county.

“I am offering my full support for this bid and I am delighted by the prospect of our city training the next generation of local doctors,” he said.

“Given the recent challenges at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital, a training partnership could be part of the solution in recruiting and retaining doctors locally, not only in the hospital itself, but also in our wider NHS including GPs and in mental health.

“It could increase our pipeline of junior doctors and trainees whilst also giving senior doctors and consultants greater job satisfaction in being able to help shape the workforce of the future.

“So far local people have been very encouraging about this prospect, and I will work with local trusts and the community to secure it – a new medical school would be a win for our local NHS,” he added.

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