From education to employment

Minister of State meets Healthcare Workforce of the Future at Chester Medical School

A Government minister visited the University of Chester’s Medical School(@uochester) to tour the facilities, meet the healthcare workforce of the future and discuss the welcoming of its first students to train as doctors this autumn. 

The Rt Hon Andrew Stephenson CBE MP, Minister of State for Health and Secondary Care, spent time discovering more about the School, its programmes, staff, students and future plans, on Monday (March 18).

His visit included seeing the simulation and skills learning areas at the Wheeler Building while students from courses including Dietetics, shared what they love about their studies, their excitement to go on placements, and the benefits of the facilities.

The Minister congratulated the team on being successful in gaining funding for 50 new Graduate Entry Level Medicine (MBChB) degree places from autumn 2024, and how the School is creating opportunities for graduates from all disciplines and backgrounds to become a doctor, to fully represent the communities they will serve.

Mr Stephenson talked with staff and students about how increasing the number of doctors in training is an important part of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, which aims to grow the number of registered NHS staff working in primary care and community services.

He also heard about the School’s focus on a healthcare system promoting prevention and early intervention; on responding directly to both regional healthcare priorities and future workforce needs, and its close relationships with practice partners.

Alongside students, the Minister met with Professor Angela Simpson, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty for Health, Medicine and Society; Mark Murphy, Academic Lead for Clinical Skills and Simulation; Lauren Fisher, Professor of Anatomy, and Professor Elizabeth Mason-Whitehead, Head of Medical Science.

Mr Stephenson said:

“From its graduate entry four-year Medicine degree to its simulation and skills learning areas, the University of Chester’s Medical School is introducing great initiatives to train the next generation of NHS staff. 

“We’ve already allocated 50 medical school places to Chester for 2024, as part of bringing forward the Long Term Workforce Plan commitment to double medical school places to 15,000 by 2031. This will bolster the NHS workforce and ensure patients continue to receive high-quality care well into the future.”

Professor Simpson said:

“We were delighted to welcome The Rt Hon Andrew Stephenson CBE MP and offer an insight into all we offer at Chester Medical School.

“The visit provided an opportunity to showcase our facilities, our undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the biomedical and life sciences as well as medical practice, and look ahead to the future with the new Graduate Entry Level Medicine (MBChB) programme.

“We were thrilled to share our dedication to training a new generation of healthcare professionals to serve their communities with a multitude of skills and compassion, and our work to widen opportunities for all to train in medicine and bioscience, health and social care.” 

Chester Medical School has worked closely with the General Medical Council (GMC) and partners at Warwick Medical School to develop a medical curriculum that produces high-quality doctors who are prepared for new ways of delivery.  

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