Lincolnshire-born Professor Jonathan Van-Tam cut the ribbon and unveiled a plaque to officially open the Ross Lucas Sciences Building, the home of Lincoln Medical School, on Tuesday, November 29.
The £21 million purpose-built building for the medical school was completed in March 2021 and is being used to train future generations of doctors for the region’s hospitals. It is also the most environmentally friendly building on the Brayford Pool campus.
The Ross Foundation, founded by David Ross, and Lincoln-based Rob Lucas both made a £1 million donation to the Lincoln Medical School to pledge their support to the work being done by the university, and the building is now named in their honour.
Some 370 students have enrolled at Lincoln Medical School since 2019 and in 2023 there will be an incoming cohort of around 80.
The first cohort of around 75 students will graduate in 2024 and will help address Lincolnshire’s historic shortage of medical staff.
Neal Juster, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, addressed those in attendance at the official opening on November 29, who included his predecessor Mary Stuart, and Lincoln MP Karl McCartney, as well as donors and key national and regional stakeholders.
Lincoln Medical School was established as a partnership between the universities of Nottingham and Lincoln. It was purpose-built to offer high-end medical facilities, including lecture theatres, laboratories, a clinical skills suite with consultation rooms, a prosection anatomy suite, and a biomedical and health sciences library.
Former Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England Jonathan Van-Tam, is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences at the University of Nottingham.
Van-Tam, who revealed he had a Boston United tattoo done on his shoulder this summer, told The Lincolnite: “Official openings are really symbolic and this is a symbolic moment for the county of Lincolnshire, for the University of Lincoln, and also for the University of Nottingham because we’ve helped set this up.
“We’ve nurtured this medical school in its early years and it’s really important for the people of Lincolnshire.
“Ultimately, what it means is that we’re going to be training our own doctors in this county and maybe our long-term dependency on doctors from elsewhere […] will be less in the future. Maybe we can have homegrown Lincolnshire doctors who want to stay and live and work in Lincolnshire. That would be a really big plus for the whole healthcare system in the county.”
Neal Juster, Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, said: “It’s extremely important for the city and the wider county. It shows where we’ve come from as a university, from a very small population in 1996 to the opening of this medical school.
“It will graduate from 2024 between 80 and 100 new doctors every year, which will help the health and well-being of the city, the county and wider.”
He added that “Lincoln is now on the map” and on “the shortlist of places” that people would like to go and study medical courses.
Professor Danny McLaughlin, Associate Dean of Medicine at Lincoln Medical School, said: “Before the Medical School started, Lincoln was the largest English county without a medical school and it wanted to have a medical school for a good number of years.
“So having a medical school here on the campus of the University of Lincoln, in partnership with Nottingham, but eventually independent, is incredibly important for the county and the city. It’s proving to be extremely popular and I think that can only improve things around the city and the university in general.”
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