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New Medical Schools Consultation

New Medical Schools Consultation

HEFCE, the Department of Health and Health Education England have issued a consultation on the expansion of undergraduate medical education. It seeks views on the criteria for allocating 1500 new medical school places, which will be delivered in two tranches. The first tranche of 500 new places from 2018/19 will be allocated to existing medical schools. Delivery of the second tranche of 1000  in 2019/20 will be determined by a competitive process which could include new providers.  

The University will be responding to the consultation in May. Furthermore, the University and local NHS Trust partners are currently exploring their options with respect to possible participation in the competitive process. Question and Answer sessions and workshops are being planned for the summer term so that staff can find out more and contribute to thinking.  

Contact Kate Hough or Laurie Butler for more.

FAQ

What is the background to the consultation?

In October 2016 the Government announced the intention to increase the number of medical undergraduate training places by 1500. A consultation launched on 14 March 2017 clearly states that as part of the expansion in medical school places, the Government intends to ‘offer new high-quality providers a direct route of entry to the medical education and training market’. This will be delivered through a competitive bidding process that will be shaped by the responses to the consultation, which are due by 2 June 2017.

The University will be responding to the Department of Health consultation in May/June. We are working in close partnership with the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust and the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to develop ideas and assess the feasibility of a possible Medical School bid when the competitive process is launched. 

What immediate steps are being taken to respond to the consultation?

A detailed assessment is underway, led by the University’s Health Strategy Group, analysing the costs and financial sustainability, the market for students, and the capacity for clinical training placements within our NHS Trust partners. Early discussions with the General Medical Council on the process and requirements for accrediting undergraduate degrees are underway.

Options and recommendations will be put forward to the University Senate, Strategy and Finance Committee and Council in the Summer Term. Council will make the decision on whether to continue work towards a competitive bid.

What is the rationale of considering a bid?

Establishing a Medical School is a logical next step for us to consider. We have research and teaching strengths in the sciences and social sciences that underpin health and we have developed a strong portfolio of clinical programmes in partnership with the Royal Berkshire Hospital and Berkshire Healthcare Trust, including the PGDip Physician Associate programme.

The early planning for a possible medical school bid builds upon our well-established relationship with the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust and the Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust. Our relationship includes joint clinics and the Thames Valley Clinical Trial Unit (TVCTU), which are delivering impactful clinical outcomes. 

Can I contribute to the consultation process?

The potential bid to open a Medical Shool will be developed in partnership with the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust and the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, together with a range of other community-based healthcare partners. A large proportion of a medical undergraduate curriculum is delivered through placements with clinical partners. 

Opening a Medical School would be a major undertaking but would also be a very positive step for the University. We are planning consultation workshops and information sessions in the summer term – so staff can contribute to this early planning work.

Last updated 10 April 2017

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