Number of Medical School Placements to Increase

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09 Aug 2017

Responding to today’s announcement of an expansion in the number of medical school places, Professor Michael Lavelle Jones, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh said:

“As the problems the NHS has in recruiting and retaining medical professionals is well known, the College welcomes this increase in medical school places and nursing numbers.

"We particularly welcome the aim of opening up places to students from disadvantaged backgrounds and increasing trainee numbers in those locations that have had recruitment difficulties. RCSEd has an active interest in both of these areas; indeed we work with schools to promote medicine as a career and last year produced a series of recommendations on how to improve surgical services in rural locations.

"We are also delighted that as the Government has dropped the requirement that trainee doctors be compelled to work within the NHS for a given period of time as a prerequisite of their training and education. Given the large fees that trainees already have to pay, this would have done nothing to have improved low workforce morale or ensured the NHS has the right mix of skills and competencies.

"Nonetheless, given the lengthy period of time it takes to train doctors to consultant level, we caution against this expansion as being seen as a ‘quick fix’ for the NHS and must be seen as part of an overall package of measures to improve NHS services in the medium and long term."

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