The first Lincolnshire medical school will open thanks to a successful joint bid by the University of Lincoln and the University of Nottingham.
The University of Nottingham Lincoln Medical School, on the University of Lincoln Brayford campus, will train the next generation of health professionals in an effort to fill severe staffing shortages in the region with UK-trained doctors.
Funding has been secured for an initial 80 first year undergraduate places in September 2019 with a further 80 per intake in subsequent years.
When it is at full capacity in a few years’ time, the new school promises to deliver medical training to around 400 undergraduate students.
Students will study for a University of Nottingham BMBS medical degree and will undertake clinical placements at local hospitals, GP surgeries and other healthcare units in collaboration with United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) and the Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT).
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.
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 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.”
Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Nottingham, Professor John Atherton, said: “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.”
Jan Sobieraj, Chief Executive at ULHT, said: “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.