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10.08.16

Three universities planning DevoManc medical school to train more doctors

As part of Greater Manchester’s devolution deal, three of the region’s major universities are working together to explore proposals to train more doctors in a new independent, international medical school.

In a joint statement, the Manchester, Salford and Manchester Metropolitan universities said the proposals would extend medical training in the north west and would draw on the experience across all three institutions in educating and training health professionals.

This programme would be in addition to the work already carried out by the University of Manchester’s own medical school, which has been educating doctors since 1874.

The new school will also have a more international focus and will allow the most talented applicants from abroad to benefit from the skills and knowledge of the three universities involved.

As well as forming part of the principles of collaboration agreed on 29 July by the three university vice-chancellors, the plans also represent a “further development” of DevoManc, or Greater Manchester’s recently devolved healthcare system.

Because of the devolution’s emphasis on region-specific needs, Greater Manchester has seen even greater co-operation between its universities, public bodies and the NHS.

“Our discussions are at an early stage, but teaching more medical students right here in Greater Manchester is an exciting prospect,” the joint statement said. “This is the first stage in the three universities developing a co-ordinated approach to healthcare education in the region to help address our local needs and priorities.

“By combining our knowledge, expertise, facilities and stakeholder networks we can offer world class opportunities which are highly attractive and accessible in a rapidly changing landscape for medical and health professionals in the UK and globally.”

Greater Manchester, which took control of its £6bn devolved health and social care funding in April, has also recently put forward plans to unite its three major central hospitals in a single NHS trust.

The radical proposal, first submitted to the city council’s Health and Wellbeing Board ahead of a meeting in June, has since been approved – but due to its sheer complexity, will require “no hitches whatsoever” in NHS Improvement’s examination of the process, as reported by PSE’s sister title, National Health Executive.

In July, it was also confirmed that the city’s three CCGs are set to share commissioning powers over all services, worth around £1.2bn

(Top image: Zahra, who works in the lab for Professional Richard Edmondson, chair of Gynaecological Oncology at the University of Manchester)

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