As I am sure you have heard, the NHS is under pressure. With several million more over 75s expected in the next few years, the UK government has embarked on the biggest ever expansion of the medical and nursing workforce, to deal with these new challenges.
The commitment to new medical school places was announced by the then Health Secretary as the “biggest annual increase in medical student numbers in history” back in 2016 and will involve 1,500 extra medical students in each year group. Some of this has been driven by an expansion of existing medical schools - the University of Exeter is welcoming 88 new students per year, while the Universities of Hull and York are expecting an extra 90.
The government is also setting up five new medical schools, which will have over 400 students each year between them, making them a significant part of the biggest expansion of the medical workforce for decades.
|Medical School||Places Available|
|Anglia Ruskin University||100 places in 2018-2019|
|Universities of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church||100 places in 2020-2021|
|Edge Hill University||30 places in 2020-2021|
|University of Lincoln||90 places in 2019-2020|
|University of Sunderland||
50 places in 2019-2020 &
It has been shown that doctors are more likely to work in the areas in which they have been trained, so the aim of these new medical schools is to recruit and attract doctors to parts of the country that have historically had a relative shortage of medical staff. But what does this mean for you? Well, it means that people applying over the next few years will have a greater choice of UK medical schools than any other cohort in recent history. So let's have a look at the new options!
*photo by Essex Live
Anglia Ruskin University is the first medical school in Essex. Its roots can be traced back to the Cambridge School of Art, which was opened in 1858. It gained University status in 1992, and was renamed Anglia Ruskin in 2005 after John Ruskin – a prominent Victorian philanthropist, social thinker and art critic. On this degree, students will study on the striking Chelmsford Campus. The School of Medicine is housed in a new £20m building, which features specialist teaching spaces and, unusually for new medical schools, a cadaveric anatomy dissection suit.
The course itself aims to integrate clinical and academic learning at very early stages of the course. Years 1-3 are pre-clinical, and take a systems-based approach to exploring the normal and abnormal anatomy and physiology. Clinical placements are spread throughout this time, in both primary and secondary care settings. The final two years are clinically oriented, with immersive placements in medicine, surgery, and general practice. They welcomed their first students in September 2018, meaning they will be well established by 2019/20.
When the Universities of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church open their common doors to new medical students in 2020/21, they will be the first medical school in Kent. The school will be named Kent and Medway and aims to combat the health problems within the South-East region and the country as a whole.
Because there is still several years before it opens, the details on the curriculum have not been released yet. What we do know is that their model will start with community placements before moving into the primary care setting, will embed students within collaborative teams within local NHS providers to provide varied clinical experiences, and will use the most up-to-date evidence when delivering medical education to new students. Watch this space!
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How to get into medical school is a common question for prospective applicants. Getting into medical school UK can be stressful and involves a lot of work, but there is a lot that you can do to prepare beforehand and improve your chances of getting into medical school UK. Here is our guide for Years 11-13, so you know what and when you should be preparing for when applying to medicine UK.