Campaigners for Lincolnshire medical school demand meeting with health chief

Health professionals pressing for a Lincolnshire medical school have requested a meeting with the chief executive of a national health improvement body after a campaign to the government failed to make any concrete progress.

A letter signed by healthcare experts and six of Lincolnshire’s seven MPs was sent to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in March, urging him to prioritise the creation of a medical school to help “support a struggling health economy.”

Their campaign received a response from Ben Gummer MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Health Services, who sympathised with the difficulties faced by Lincolnshire.

However, he said that the government is not responsible for deciding the number and location of medical school places, and that this is decided by an independent body, Health Education England (HEE).

The campaigners are now planning to write to Professor Ian Cumming, Chief Executive of HEE to request a face-to-face meeting over the possibility of establishing a medical school.

Dr Kieran Sharrock, Medical Director of the Lincolnshire Local Medical Committee, said: “A medical school in Lincolnshire is essential for the long term development of the health and care services of Lincolnshire.

“There are a number of solutions to this problem which we are developing, including; use of alternative practitioners, new models of care, use of technology, and international recruitment.

“However, the establishment of a medical school in Lincolnshire would provide a long-term solution, as medical schools improve recruitment and retention of health and care professionals.”