Some good news on new medical schools. Lets hope the politicians sieze the real opportunity for virtual medical schools living in local communities

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 medical schools are created in England in bid to increase home grown doctors BMJ 2018;360:k1328  21st March 2018

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


  1. Medical Schools: your chances – applications-to-acceptance ratio was 11.2.

    Comment on the New Medical Schools. How will continuity of care improve?

Five new Medical Schools: better late than never. Lets hope selection criteria are different from before..

This entry was posted in A Personal View, Good News, Medical Education, Political Representatives and activists, Rationing, Stories in the Media, Uncategorized on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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