The University of Portsmouth has begun taking steps to open a medical school and is excited at the prospect of playing a bigger role in the health of people in the region.
Portsmouth has been named one of the UK’s worst areas for GP provision. The University’s vision is to recruit a large proportion of students from the region and others who want to stay in the region when they graduate.
The planned medical school would be for those who already have a degree, and who come from a wide cross-section of society, including those who might not have thought they could study medicine or who demonstrated their academic capability later in their education, after A levels.
Bid leader Professor Sherria Hoskins (pictured below), Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Health, is a passionate advocate for opening the door to medicine wider than any other British medical school. Although graduates could, following foundation training, choose to specialise in any branch of medicine, Portsmouth aims to shine a spotlight on primary care to help the region address its serious GP shortfall.
She said: “If we are successful, Portsmouth will be able to improve healthcare in our region, which has significant health deprivation and a serious shortage of doctors, compounding the health inequalities.”
Portsmouth South MP, Stephen Morgan, said: “As I said in Parliament recently, Portsmouth has become a new healthcare hell for patients. It is one of the worst affected areas by the wider national fall in GPs, with just 40 per 100,000 people.
“That’s why I’m proud to support our university’s medical school bid, which will help to recruit the homegrown talent we need to deliver the services our city deserves.”
Former Health Minister and MP for Gosport, Caroline Dinenage, said: “It was arresting to read that our region is one of the UK’s worst for numbers of GPs per patient. If the University of Portsmouth is successful in its bid to open a medical school it would be a step towards supplying Gosport, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight with more doctors, which we sorely lack and which our region’s populations deserve.”
The University of Portsmouth is working with the region’s primary and secondary care frontline medics, hospital trusts, local clinical groups, MPs, patient groups, and medical school partner, Brighton & Sussex Medical School, to build a four-year graduate entry medical degree course.
Specialists in course design are proposing to include, alongside medical training, a focus on the future of medical practice including compassionate care and preventative medicine.
A Portsmouth medical school would add to its suite of healthcare courses, including Nursing, Physiotherapy, Paramedic Science, Physician Associate Studies, Biomedical Science, Prescribing and Therapeutics, Radiography and Operating Department Practice.