The universities today (Tuesday) announced the new University of Nottingham Lincoln Medical School will go ahead after a successful joint bid for more funding to increase medical school places. When at full capacity in a few years’ time, the new school will deliver medical training to around 400 undergraduate students in the historic city of Lincoln.
Students will study for a University of Nottingham BMBS medical degree at the University of Lincoln site on the Brayford Pool. Clinical placements will take place at hospitals, GP surgeries and other healthcare units in the county in collaboration with United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust and the Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
The announcement follows a successful bid for funding to the Higher Education Funding Council England and Health Education England last year in which the Government invited bids from new or existing medical schools for allocation of an extra 1,000 new undergraduate medical education places in England.
The expansion of undergraduate medical training is part of a plan to increase the number of UK-trained doctors to ease staffing shortages in the NHS. The universities of Lincoln and Nottingham have secured funding for an initial 80 first year undergraduate places in September 2019 with a further 80 per intake in subsequent years.
As the second largest county in England with a rural and ageing population, Lincolnshire has traditionally struggled to recruit and retain doctors and other healthcare professionals. The shortage of doctors in the past year at the county’s hospitals and GP surgeries has been described as critical by health bosses, especially during winter months.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Science at the University of Lincoln, Professor Libby John, said: “The University of Lincoln has been working for some time with our local health community to develop a medical school for Lincolnshire. We are delighted we can announce that, with our partners the University of Nottingham, we are achieving that ambition.
“The University of Nottingham Lincoln Medical School in partnership with the University of Lincoln will help to widen access to the study of medicine across the local region. We want to encourage students in local schools to think about studying medicine here with us. In the longer term this will develop a pool of high-quality medical experts within the Lincolnshire community.
“The Medical School will make a huge difference to the people of Lincolnshire who will benefit from the establishment of this hub of medical expertise. It will be underpinned by the University of Lincoln’s outstanding infrastructure, research and employer partnerships. I am grateful for the enormous support we have had from the Lincolnshire community in our bid to establish a medical school for the region.”
Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Nottingham, Professor John Atherton, said: “We are very pleased and excited to announce this historic collaboration between two leading providers of education in the healthcare sector.
“We have been training doctors at Nottingham for almost 50 years and as a result standards of healthcare in the East Midlands have risen dramatically in that time.
“Our popular and pioneering medical degree is delivered by teachers who are also hands on clinicians and often world-leading clinical researchers in their field.”
Efforts to fill vacancies in rural areas in recent years have included recruitment from abroad and the retraining of doctors from overseas who arrived in the UK as refugees. It is hoped the new Medical School in Lincoln will address future projected shortages of doctors by offering first class training that will encourage graduates to complete their junior doctor training locally and apply for jobs in the region.
Jan Sobieraj, Chief Executive at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We are delighted a Lincolnshire medical school has been announced. This is fantastic news for the University, the NHS and our patients. I like to say well done to the universities for all their hard work in making this happen. Lincolnshire has a severe shortage of doctors in a range of specialities, and ULHT is greatly affected by this. We believe a local medical school will help us in the longer-term with recruiting doctors and keeping them in county, as people tend to stay in the areas where they train.”
Prospective medical students will be able to apply through UCAS for the five year University of Nottingham BMBS medical degree (A100) at Lincoln from September 2018 for entry in September 2019.
Both universities have a strong commitment to widening participation to a career in medicine and have additionally established a six year degree with a Foundation year (A108), designed to widen participation in medicine, will also be available to applicants from non-traditional backgrounds.
Applicant interviews will take place in Lincoln at the Sarah Swift Building, Brayford Pool campus, which also houses the University of Lincoln’s Schools of Health and Social Care, and Psychology.