Bearing in mind that only 2 years ago, 9 applicants out of 11 were rejected for medical school and that thousands have been disappointed when we really needed them, we now have politicians acting. They need to do more. The new places need to be graduates, rather than undergraduates, , and there needs to be additional “virtual” medical schools attached to each Deanery. If everyone is subjected to the same assessment exams, we could see whether community based training is as good as centralised raining. Careers officers should have been listened to. We have wasted a whole generation of disappointed talent.
Five new medical schools have been created under government plans to increase medical student numbers in England.
In 2016 England’s health and social care secretary, Jeremy Hunt, announced a 25% expansion in medical student places in a bid to expand the number of home grown doctors rather than recruiting from overseas.1 He said that as many as 1500 more doctors would be trained in England every year from September 2018.
Health Education England (HEE) has now announced the creation of five new medical schools offering undergraduate places.2 The new schools will be at the University of Sunderland, Edge Hill University in Lancashire, Anglia Ruskin University in East Anglia, the Universities of Nottingham and Lincoln, and the Universities of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church.
In 2017, 500 new medical school places were allocated to existing medical schools. The remaining 1000 places have now been allocated after a bidding process run by HEE and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.3
Ian Cumming, chief executive of HEE, said that the allocation of places was prioritised in areas “with a relative shortage of doctors overall, or in certain specialties, and also to widen the social profile of new medical students.”
Overall, the south and south east of England are receiving the largest increase in student numbers, with 200 student places allocated to the region, 100 of which went to a joint bid by the Universities of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church.
Excluding London, which received 137 additional places, the north east received the smallest allocation of 147 medical school places. Figures from HEE published in 2017 showed that the north east had a sufficient number of doctors per weighted population.3