University in Early Discussions on the Development of a Medical School

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Following a request for information from BBC Hereford and Worcester, the University of Worcester is happy to confirm that it is engaging in preliminary discussions with partners about the possibility of creating a Medical School in Worcester.

For many years, the University has been very well known nationally and internationally for the outstanding quality of its education in Nursing and Midwifery. Worcester is currently the only English university to have been shortlisted 5 years consecutively as nurse education provider of the year. The University also has a very strong suite of postgraduate professional courses in such vital areas as the examination of the newborn and non-medical prescribing. In recent years the University has invested successfully in creating excellent courses in para-medicine, psychology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and sports therapy. The University is the national pioneer in creating the Physicians’ Associate Masters course which is training desperately need health practitioners with the skills and qualifications to perform endoscopies and other vital examinations and procedures. The graduates of all these health-related professional courses are in very strong demand with many receiving multiple job offers on graduation. The science base at the University is also expanding strongly with excellent courses in Biological Science, Biochemistry and a brand new course in Biomedical Sciences. Sport Science is also particularly strong at the University.

The University has many other major strengths in health care including particularly outstanding work in dementia care and mental health more generally including hosting the Bipolar Disorder Research Network whose work is internationally acclaimed.

Following the announcement that there is to be an expansion of training places for medical doctors by 1,500 in England from 2018, the University has been approached by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, which distributes these places, to establish whether the University aspires to provide some of them. The University has responded positively to this invitation and is now engaged in preliminary discussions with partners about the possibility of creating a Medical School in Worcester.

The response to date has been very favourable and on Wednesday, January 18 there was a meeting of nearly 100 medical doctors including many leading local consultants at which great enthusiasm for this possibility was expressed.

Professor David Green, the University’s Vice Chancellor, said: “The University of Worcester has long been known for the excellence of our teachers and early years educators. Our work in health is just as outstanding. Over the last decade this work has become very much more extensive and now 1 student in every 4 at the University is studying to work in health and well-being. We are very serious about making an even broader beneficial impact in society by extending our education to include medical doctors, probably on a graduate entry basis. The preliminary discussions we are holding with partners have gone very well so far, but there is a long way to go before even this preliminary stage is complete. As soon as the University is in a position to make a public statement alongside our partners we will do so, but these discussions will take some time. We hope to be able to make a further statement by Easter.”