The Department of Health and Social Care are launching their biggest expansion into medical training to date. The plan is to launch five new medical schools across England to support areas that have historically struggled to attract doctors.

The main objective is to support the struggling NHS medical workforce. The new medical schools will open in Chelmsford, Lincoln, Canterbury, Sunderland and Lancashire. The locations were chosen as part of a rigorous bidding process to help place more medical students in areas that are struggling to attract medical professionals.

The areas that are the most affected by the decreasing number of doctors are the rural and coastal areas of England.

As well as five additional medical schools, the government also wants to expand medical programmes in existing universities. There has been funding placed aside for a further 100 places at Aston University along with twenty other medical schools.

The end goal of this project from the DHSC is to put an additional 1,500 doctors into training by 2020. A large amount of these places (roughly 630) should be available this September. This will take the total number of medical students for 2018/19 to 6,701. This will be the highest amount of medical student vacancies on record.

It is predicted that there will be over one million more Over 75’s in England. Former Health and Social Care Secretary, Jeremy Hunt has been quoted saying: “Setting up five new medical schools is part of the biggest ever expansion of our medical and nursing workforce; which will help us deal with the challenges of having around one million more Over 75s in ten years’ time”

This project is to the benefit of all doctors as it will start to eliminate rota gaps and ease the growing workload on current doctors. This can range from general practice GP’s to surgeons.

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