Hull York Medical School is the joint medical school of the universities of Hull and York. When the School was established its vision was clear – to offer a nationally leading and internationally known medical education that produces excellent doctors equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to respond to challenges within healthcare and to transform patient care. Since then it has worked in close partnership with local NHS Trusts and community healthcare providers to ensure it remained abreast of local and national workforce needs – training doctors in hospitals, primary care and community settings across North Yorkshire, the Humber and North Lincolnshire and Goole.
Health services in Hull and East Yorkshire face particular challenges in terms of deprivation, remoteness, rurality and the specific challenges of providing sustainable healthcare in coastal communities. There is also a high prevalence of health inequalities and long-term conditions such as heart disease, cancer and lung disease, as well as challenging socio-economic conditions. Yet health services providers across the region face severe workforce challenges across all types of care, and it is difficult to attract junior doctors into the region from other medical centres. There is a shortage of GPs in the HYMS sub-region: the four Clinical Commissioning Groups serving the most socially deprived areas have fewer than 50 GPs per 100,000 population – a situation that is likely to worsen as many GPs are over 50 years old.
However, medical students are more likely to work in under-doctored areas if they are trained there, and locally trained doctors are more likely to stay in the areas where they have trained. Since 2003 the School has trained over 1000 doctors, many of whom have chosen to stay locally. The School’s strong community orientation and strong partnerships with general practice has also resulted its graduates being among the most likely in the UK to specialise in General Practice and Psychiatry.
Professor Susan Lea, Vice Chancellor of the University of Hull believes this expansion of undergraduate medical education will have a positive impact upon the region. She said: “We are committed to improving the health of people in the region and are extremely proud of the vital contribution that our staff, students and graduates within the medical school make. Expansion, along with our investment in the new Allam Medical Building opened by Her Majesty the Queen last November, will enable us to extend our impact by attracting and developing students who will shape the healthcare workforce of the future and ultimately deliver the highest standards of patient care.”
Professor Koen Lamberts, Vice-Chancellor of the University of York, said: “The expansion of the School will help us to produce more doctors who are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to respond to challenges within healthcare and to transform patient care.
“Through our strong relationships with our NHS partners we are able translate significant research and teaching into real benefits for society – improving diagnosis, treatment and outcomes for large numbers of patients.”
For Hull York Medical School this expansion of undergraduate medical places is a significant milestone in its history. As part of the expansion, the School will significantly grow its Academy of Primary Care to stimulate research; help with GP recruitment; increase the number of students it recruits locally and launch new social mobility initiatives to encourage students from all backgrounds to consider a career in medicine; invest in clinical academics in acute specialities of importance to the local NHS; and build critical mass in research areas such as primary care, mental health, and biomedical research. But ultimately expansion will enable the School to produce more doctors who are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to respond to challenges within healthcare and to transform patient care – within this region and beyond.
* 15 of these places were by formulaic allocation and announced in 2017, a further award of 75 has now been confirmed following the joint HEFCE and Health Education England initiative to expand medical school provision in England.