A partnership between South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University is leading to major funding being invested to improve medical student training in the North East.
The £1m investment will be used to provide doctors for the hospitals in Teesside by introducing an extra 100 Newcastle University fourth-year medical students on placement there each year by 2020. When added to the third- and fifth-year students already on placement in Teesside, this will increase the number of Newcastle University medical students on placement there up to a total of 300 per annum. The MBBS students will not only work in the hospitals on Teesside but also receive training at the Institute of Learning as part of a new course being introduced which will benefit from improved library and the provision of mock wards.
Discussing the partnership, Professor Andrew Owens, Medical Director of Education, Research and Innovation at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, described the Trust’s reaction, saying “We’re delighted by this investment which further recognises the high quality of medical education that students receive in the Tees valley.
“This will enable us to refurbish current facilities and expand our capacity for undergraduate education, ensuring that the additional fourth year students have an appropriate environment to support their studies.
Addressing the increasing concern over the nationwide deficiency of doctors, Professor Owens said that, “We believe that the additional exposure to our region, combined with the overall growth in medical students, will go a long way to alleviate the shortage of doctors in the wider area.”
This view was echoed by Professor Steve Jones, Head of the School of Medical Education at Newcastle University, who said that, “At a time when many areas of the country are finding it hard to recruit and retain doctors, particularly GPs, courses like this which offer the best teaching, in a forward-thinking Trust, enable us to attract the brightest and best students.
“This enhanced provision on Teesside will reflect the renewed teaching programme for medical students at Newcastle University which ensures a hands-on approach.
“This comes alongside access to some of the busiest and most exciting medical environments in the country and emphasises our commitment to training the future medical workforce for our region.”