Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, Wes Streeting MP, praised the University of Worcester’s work to educate the future health professionals during a recent visit.
Mr Streeting was shown around the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson building, the University’s new building for health and medical education on Hylton Road, as well as the refurbished Elizabeth Casson building and the clinical simulation facilities in the Sheila Scott building.
Whilst visiting, Mr Streeting met paramedicine and nursing students as well as health and medical staff colleagues.
Speaking at the end of his visit, he said: “It’s been a brilliant visit to see the University’s excellent facilities and meet its students. Having seen what I have seen today, there are some amazing staff coming down the track to the NHS. But we now need to make sure the University is also able to provide opportunities for students, from different backgrounds, to come and study medicine here too.”
During the visit Mr Streeting was told about the lack of government funded places for Medical students to start their studies at the University’s new Three Counties Medical School. The University has received generous support from the Kildare Trust and local NHS trusts to fund 20 UK students through their four years of study, beginning in September. However, with a lack of government funded places, the remaining cohort will be made up of international students.
“It is deeply frustrating that a university like this one has its hand tied behind its back by the government,” he said.
Professor David Green CBE DL, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive at the University, said: “We were delighted to be able to show the Shadow Health Secretary, Wes Streeting MP, around the University and have the opportunity to talk to him about health workforce planning and the need for more support for health students and more funded places for medical students.”
“The University is deeply committed to helping ensure we have the outstanding staff we need for our NHS for the future and our Three Counties Medical School is the latest development in our long history of educating health professionals. We very much hope that the government will recognise the need to provide funded places for ourselves, and for the other new medical schools.”
The University continues to campaign for funded UK places with the support of Worcester’s MP, Robin Walker, along with MPs from across the three counties and health leaders.
The day after Mr Streeting’s visit to the University he spoke in the House of Commons about the lack of funded medical school places, including at Worcester.
Watch what Mr Streeting said to the Health Secretary, Steve Barclay (forward to 07:20 for the start of the debate)
He also spoke to BBC Hereford and Worcester. Listen to the interview (forward to 39:35)
The extensive refurbishment of the former Worcester News building, now known as the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson building, is now nearing completion and will open to health students after Easter. The building includes a new anatomy suite, which has been purpose designed for the education of medical students, and which has benefitted from £250,000 from the Clive Richards Foundation.
The development of the wider Severn Campus infrastructure is also well advanced with new cycle and pedestrian paths, parking and electric vehicle charging points installed.