Published on 19 March 2018
News that the University of Sunderland is to open a School of Medicine has been welcomed across the North East – and the country.
Well-wishers took to social media to express their delight that the University is one of five across the UK to be given the green light for the new facility.
The School has been established to help address the regional imbalance of medical education places across England and to widen access to ensure the profession reflects the communities it serves.
So, what have people been saying?
Greg Walker, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, The Association for Modern Universities, was delighted with the announcement.
He said: “Superb news that the University of Sunderland will have a new medical school - I've seen the fantastic facilities & staff in other clinical areas at the uni already - a great decision.”
Julie Elliott, MP for Sunderland Central, said: “Well done to the University of Sunderland on the announcement that they will start to train doctors at their medical school in 2019 huge benefits to our city.”
Bosses at Sunderland Royal Hospital were also please, they tweeted: “Great result for the University of Sunderland and massive thanks to everyone who supported the bid. Great to have more home grown talent in our fantastic local NHS.”
The new School of Medicine is expected to welcome its first students from September 2019.
Mirror Journalist and associate editor Kevin Maguire branded the decision: “Brilliant news for Sunderland and the university.”
While Bridget Phillipson, Labour MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, who supported the bid in the House of Commons said: “A significant moment for the University of Sunderland and our city with the fantastic news that a new medical school is to be established:
“In the long run, this innovative bid will help tackle the chronic shortage of doctors we face. A big thank you to everyone involved in making this happen.”
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is keen to boost medical school applicants from all types of backgrounds as part of their bid to tackle social injustices.
Widening participation is a key strategic factor for the University; hence it won the School via a competitive bidding process.
Alastair Stewart, ITV news presenter and honorary graduate of the University of Sunderland, was also delighted with the news.
He tweeted: A crowning glory for Vice-Chancellor Shirley Atkinson. Warmest congratulations.”
Father Marc Lyden-Smith. Parish Priest in Sunderland and also Chaplain to SAFC, said: “Well done the University of Sunderland on the announcement that they will start to train doctors at their medical school in 2019. Congratulations to Vice-Chancellor Shirley Atkinson and all involved in making this happen.”
Sunderland businessman, MAC Trust Chair and former Chairman of the University, Paul Callaghan, added: Everyone is very proud of Vice-Chancellor Shirley Atkinson and the University of Sunderland.
“I’m particularly proud of such a wonderful group of people in this fantastic university.”
Ian Cumming, Chief Executive Health Education England and Chairman of the assessment panel said the news was particularly good for the region.
He said: “Studies show that doctors tend to stay in the areas where they train, so it means more doctors for the region to deliver high-quality care.
“The extra training places demonstrate a real commitment to making sure that we have the number of doctors we need for the NHS in the future.”