The additional numbers will mean more trainee doctors working in the region, and will bolster opportunities for West Country students to train in Medicine close to home. It will also mean an economic boost for Exeter and Truro, where the Medical School has campuses.
The announcement follows on from a consultation and competitive bid process for the allocation of 1,000 new medical training places across England, via the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and Health Education England (HEE) on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care. They received applications totalling 2,400 places for the 1,000 places available. Exeter was awarded 73 students to start in September 2019, on top of 15 extra starting in September 2018, previously announced – taking the total to 88.
Exeter’s success is recognition of the high calibre of its innovative training approach.
The move will increase the number of students trained on Exeter’s five year undergraduate programme from 130 to 218 each year, representing one of the largest increases in numbers across the country. The additional numbers will help increase the supply of doctors nationwide, and shows a commitment to nurturing home-grown talent in the South West.
At Exeter, around half the year group relocated to the University’s Truro Campus, on the Royal Cornwall Hospital site, from Year 3 of their training.
Professor Clive Ballard, Executive Dean and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter Medical School, said: “I’m delighted that the Government has recognised Exeter’s excellence in training tomorrow’s doctors. We pride ourselves on equipping our students with vital skills to lead in healthcare, and we know that they are well prepared for clinical practice when they graduate. This announcement will mean a boost in both students and staff in our Exeter and Truro locations. It’s great news for the Medical School and for the South West and it’s an endorsement of all our staff.”
Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice Chancellor of the University of Exeter, said: “This increase is a fantastic endorsement of our Medical School and shows a real commitment to medical training in the South West. Exeter is still a relatively new school, with our first Medicine students graduating this Summer. I’m proud of the progress we’ve made so far – the Medical School is going from strength to strength and this announcement will support our ongoing growth and development Congratulations to everyone involved.”
A total of 1,000 places have been allocated for intakes from September 2019 to medical schools across the UK. The number is in addition to 500 extra places previously announced nationwide. Together, the increases represent the largest ever expansion of medical training, adding a quarter more training places to the previous total of around 6,000. All medical schools received additional places and the Government is setting up five new schools.