Minister tours UCLan to learn about health sector skills provision

By Tim Aldred

22 Jan 2024

Andrew Stephenson UCLan

Andrew Stephenson, the Minister for Health and Secondary Care, has toured the University of Central Lancashire’s School of Medicine and Dentistry to learn more about how it is producing work ready professionals for the NHS.

The MP was shown the facilities, which first opened in 2015, by pro vice-chancellor Prof Cathy Jackson, who set up the School of Medicine, and Dr Colin Michie who is the associate dean of the School.

Prof Cathy Jackson said: “At the University of Central Lancashire we are proud to train future doctors and physician associates. We also prepare students for other healthcare careers and we develop the skills and knowledge of qualified professionals in the sector.”

Andrew Stephenson, who the MP for Pendle, is responsible for NHS secondary care, the NHS workforce and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). During the tour, he was shown UCLan’s clinical skills laboratories, with high fidelity clinical human simulators and learning centres containing new anatomical models and virtual dissection tables.

Significant expansion of medical school places was identified as a priority in the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, published in June 2023. In October 2023, UCLan was granted 35 of 205 new undergraduate medical places. Vice-chancellor Prof Graham Baldwin met privately with Mr Stephenson to discuss future UK-funded medical school numbers.

Following the tour, the MP said: “The University of Central Lancashire’s School of Medicine and Dentistry delivers on the region’s need to recruit and retain health professionals for the NHS.

"During my tour of the facilities, I met some highly talented and motivated students who I know will go on to rewarding careers. It is vital highly talented students are given the opportunity to study medicine to help solve some of the health inequalities that our local communities face.

"I will continue to work with the University of Central Lancashire to ensure the pathway to a good career in the NHS is available to everyone.”

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