Theresa May has told the House of Commons that she backs the creation of a Kent and Medway medical school.
She was asked to endorse the plan by Dover MP Charlie Elphicke during Prime Minister’s Questions today (Wednesday).
Overnight Monday into Tuesday the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University announced they had succeeded in a joint bid to build a medical school.
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The aim is to educate and retain high quality clinical staff. There are also hopes that the school may eventually lead to the construction of a new hospital in Canterbury.
Its first students are due to start in 2020.
The five-year undergraduate programmes will result in joint degrees from the universities in medicine and surgery.
Study will also take place across the two universities’ campuses in Canterbury and Medway.
Students will spend first two years in primary care and will be assigned to a GP. After this they will go into a hospital for acute training.
The next stage in the process is to find a location for the school and to further consult with healthcare organisations and regional NHS bodies.
Prof Rama Thirunamachandran, vice-chancellor and principal of Canterbury Christ Church University, and Prof Karen Cox, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Kent, have made a joint statement on the announcement.
They said: “Our ambition is to develop a school that will become a beacon for first class medical education and research.
“We want it to be the first choice for all those aspiring to achieve excellence in person-centred medical care in the UK.
“We remain confident that, by providing distinctive, socially diverse and insightful graduates, the Kent and Medway Medical School will enable, influence and drive changes within the clinical workforce to deliver high quality healthcare across the region.”