A stethoscope and medical chart

19 March 2018

Universities receive funding to develop county's first medical school

The Government and Health Education England (HEE) announced today (Tuesday 20 March 2018) that the joint bid by the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University for funded places to establish a medical school has been successful.

It will be the county’s first ever medical school, bringing together the existing centres of excellence in health and medical education provided by the two universities, and local healthcare organisations, to offer a new model of patient-focused medical education.

The medical school will also be an essential part of the solution for recruiting and retaining medical professionals for the region.

Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Canterbury Christ Church University, and Professor Karen Cox, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Kent said: “We are delighted that our joint bid for establishing the county’s first medical school has been successful.

“Our ambition is to develop a school that will become a beacon for first class medical education and research, and the first choice for all those aspiring to achieve excellence in person-centred medical care in the UK. We remain confident that, by providing distinctive, socially diverse and insightful graduates, the Kent and Medway Medical School will enable, influence and drive changes within the clinical workforce to deliver high quality healthcare across the region.

“We would also like to thank all those who supported our bid. Their support and encouragement has been invaluable, and we look forward to continuing a close working relationship as we move towards delivery of this important new development for the county and region.”

Glenn Douglas, Chief Executive of the health and social care sustainability and transformation partnership for Kent and Medway, commented: “We are delighted with this announcement. We have been clear that Kent and Medway have a big problem staffing NHS posts, and this is causing significant strain on health services. We have been fully in support of the bid from our two universities for a medical school. Having a medical school locally is known to provide an essential boost to recruitment and retention and we know this is vital, particularly in our coastal areas. We want people in Kent and Medway to seriously consider health and care as a career, and the universities will now be offering an extensive range of courses – including medicine – within our region.”

The bid for the Kent and Medway Medical School was submitted in November 2017. It was the culmination of over a year’s work by both institutions in response to the Government’s commitment to fund an additional 1500 medical places by 2020.

It received significant support from the region’s MPs, local councillors, NHS Trust chief executives and medical directors, as well as other health and education related organisations, all of whom expressed their backing for the bid.

It was also supported by Brighton and Sussex Medical School, which will act as the ‘parent institution’ - one of the requirements of the General Medical Council (GMC) as a new medical school is established.


Notes to editors

The new medical school will offer:

    • a model that starts in the community and primary care with early clinical placements within Community Education Provider Networks - covering GP surgeries, pharmacies, and local care centres - from year one
    • annually 100 undergraduate places in a centre for first-class medical education and research to support future workforce planning in the region
  • collaborative teams that are embedded within local NHS providers and are committed to leading and transforming healthcare delivery
  • high quality research to find evidence-based solutions to promote health, address local challenges and reduce inequalities in provision across the county.

It also aims to:

  • address workforce shortages in priority areas by developing doctors in specialities that are currently under-represented in Kent and Medway
  • offer five-year undergraduate programmes resulting in joint degrees from both the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University in Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
  • deliver teaching and research across both universities’ Canterbury and Medway campuses, building on their existing knowledge and expertise
  • ensure students are fully part of both student communities, working closely with those in other health and social care programmes and taking up placements that embed them within community healthcare organisations.


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Last edited: 15/01/2020 11:19:00