Professor Cathy Jackson, Head of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) Medical School
“We welcome today’s announcement from Jeremy Hunt regarding an increase in medical school places, which echoes proposals that we have previously put to Government.
“Due to current limitations on the numbers of funded undergraduate medical student places and the pressures in foundation training post numbers, our medical programme is primarily only able to accept self-funded international students, even though last year we received over 100 unsolicited applications from the UK without any active recruitment or marketing – proving the appetite to study with us.
“Our partner NHS Trusts are working with us to look at ways to fund local students to come to study medicine here at UCLan, their local university. To that end we have established two full scholarship opportunities, partly funded by two regional trusts, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust. In addition we are in negotiations with other NHS Trusts to look at commissioned places for Lancashire–wide students to study medicine with us. The Trusts have identified a need and are looking to us to help meet that need and are prepared to help pay for the solution, especially attracting local students from diverse backgrounds to work in the local health economy.
“Being able to train doctors in the region would be a significant boost to our partner NHS Trusts in East Lancashire and North Cumbria. Locally trained doctors are much more likely to stay in the area, which would boost recruitment and retention in the medical workforce and help solve some of the health inequalities that these communities face.
“Although we must wait to see the fine details of the Health Secretary’s proposals, we would certainly look to bid for these additional places.”