A new research, teaching and medical education centre, to be led by senior clinical academics with a background in acute medicine and primary care, is being developed in West Cumbria. The West Cumberland Medical Education Centre (WCMEC), is an innovative collaboration between North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group and the Samuel Lindow Foundation.
WCMEC will combine academic facilities at UCLan’s Westlakes campus and neighbouring clinical facilities at the new West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven – joining up the sites physically to create easy access between the two.
The new centre will provide unique opportunities to deliver innovative improvements in remote and rural healthcare and develop new integrated models of care for the local area. It will provide a bespoke, local facility to train West Cumbria’s clinical workforce, train and develop leading-edge doctors, medical students and physician associates and, in years to come, offer courses at undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing professional development levels.
The creation of this new centre coincides with the opening of the new West Cumberland Hospital in October 2015, representing a significant step for local communities and the development of healthcare in West Cumbria.
WCMEC, part of the UCLan School of Medicine, will provide facilities for students on the new undergraduate medical programme at UCLan: the Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) for self-funded, international students. It will allow access to clinical placements at West Cumberland Hospital during years 3, 4 and 5 of the MBBS, with teaching facilities in the state-of-the-art Samuel Lindow Building on the UCLan Westlakes campus.
The new UCLan Physician Associates programme will also be taught from the new centre.
The ambition for West Cumberland Medical Education Centre also includes the delivery of short courses and postgraduate training opportunities for the local NHS workforce as part of continuous professional development. A number of public lectures will be delivered at the site and relationships with local schools and colleges will be enhanced to help local students explore the career possibilities available within the health sector.