University signs partnership to strengthen plans for Chester Medical School

Prof John Alcolado
X The Business Desk

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The University of Chester has taken a significant step forward in developing its vision for a medical school to serve Cheshire, Wirral and Shropshire.

The institution’s ambitious plan to train the next generation of doctors reached a significant milestone this week, as university leaders signed an official partnership agreement with the University of Warwick.

The University of Chester already has an excellent reputation for training healthcare professionals at undergraduate and postgraduate level, including nurses, midwives, psychologists, social workers, dietitians and biomedical scientists, with many going on to serve the local area.

It is the largest provider of health care programmes in the region and has very strong relationships with a range of NHS Trusts.

This new agreement will enable Chester Medical School to start adapting the highly successful curriculum that has been developed in Warwick to train graduates to become qualified doctors.

The University of Warwick, and in particular Warwick Medical School, will support Chester during the process of obtaining General Medical Council approval for the new Medical School programme, which is expected to take its first students in 2022.

There is a significant shortage of doctors in the North West and the current COVID-19 pandemic has led to even longer waiting lists for NHS treatment.

The new medical course aims to improve the healthcare of the population by enhancing training and research.

Prof John Alcolado, executive Dean of Medicine at Chester Medical School, said: “This marks an important point in the development of Chester Medical School and we are thrilled to have the support of the University of Warwick, which has an excellent reputation in delivering medical education.

“This partnership will support Chester Medical School in its vision to progress and deliver innovative study programmes that will help us to develop graduates who will be recognised not only for their scientific knowledge and practical skills, but also their competency and kindness.

“They will be trained to the highest standards to become patient-centred and innovative practitioners, making full use of emerging technologies to meet the expectation of their patients and their employers.”

Prof Eunice Simmons, vice-chancellor of the University of Chester, said: “This is an exciting venture for the University of Chester, which will allow us to nurture the region’s healthcare professionals and strengthen our vision to educate and develop citizen students.

“Chester Medical School will be a medical school for, and within, the community and its focus will be for students to learn, stay, and contribute locally, developing a sense of place, sensitive to population healthcare needs.”

Prof Sudhesh Kumar, Dean of Warwick Medical School, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with the University of Chester in the establishment of its new medical school, cementing our shared commitment to excellence in training the next generation of doctors.

“It is fitting that we begin our partnership as Warwick Medical School marks the 20th anniversary of its own founding and as we also look forward to working closely with the University of Chester to create a successful medical school.”

Prof Stuart Croft, vice-chancellor and president of the University of Warwick, said: “Now, more than ever, it is vital for us to encourage more young people into medicine and continue training them to the highest standard. I welcome this opportunity for our two universities to work together to provide more opportunities to enter the medical profession, and I’m delighted that Warwick Medical School’s expertise in teaching and developing its world-class medical curriculum is to benefit even more talented medics across the UK.”

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