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Health minister shown how work-ready NHS professionals are developed

Minister for Health and Secondary Care Rt Hon Andrew Stephenson toured the University of Central Lancashire’s School of Medicine and Dentistry

Minister for Health and Secondary Care Rt Hon Andrew Stephenson CBE MP toured the University of Central Lancashire’s School of Medicine and Dentistry to learn more about how its continued growth and development is producing work ready professionals for the NHS.

The University of Central Lancashire’s School of Medicine and Dentistry first opened its doors for medicine in 2015.

The Member of Parliament for Pendle was shown the university’s state-of-the-art facilities by Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Cathy Jackson, who set up the School of Medicine, and Dr Colin Michie who is the Associate Dean of the School.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor 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.”

Mr Stephenson is responsible for NHS secondary care, the NHS workforce and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). During the tour, Mr Stephenson was shown the University of Central Lancashire’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, the University of Central Lancashire was granted 35 of 205 new undergraduate medical places. Vice-Chancellor of the University of Central Lancashire Professor Graham Baldwin met privately with Mr Stephenson to discuss future UK-funded medical school numbers.

Following the tour, Minister for Health and Secondary Care Rt Hon Andrew Stephenson CBE 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.”

Andrew, who has a degree in Management Studies from the University of London, was the first in his family to attend university.

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