The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh signs new agreement with UCLan to give medical students cutting edge

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13 Jun 2023

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will give students membership of a global community of medical experts.

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) has signed a new agreement with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), which will give medical students access to a specialist faculty that brings together experts in remote, rural and humanitarian healthcare from around the world.

The Faculty of Remote, Rural and Humanitarian Healthcare (FRRHH), part of RCSEd, was established in 2018, with the aim of improving patient safety and support for healthcare professionals living and working in remote, rural, and humanitarian settings.

The new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) builds on an existing MOU UCLan has with RCSEd’s Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care, and will give UCLan’s third, fourth and fifth-year medical students – as well as our Physician Associate students – two years of free membership to RSCEd’s specialist Faculty, worth hundreds of pounds. As members of the Faculty, they’ll have access to a global community of medical experts, gaining invaluable insight into healthcare systems around the world.

Dr Stuart Maitland-Knibb, UCLan’s Director for the National Centre for Remote and Rural Medicine, said:

The Centre here in Westlakes provides the education and training that allows professionals to provide gold standard care in remote and rural locations – whether that’s locally, nationally or internationally. What we’re doing here in something unique, and it means that those who study with us are well-equipped to look after their patients’ needs, wherever they are in the world.

We’ve long enjoyed a strong relationship with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, and this new formal arrangement – our second MOU with RCSEd - will bring direct benefits to our students. Through these new connections, which allow us to share best practice, we’re ready to better serve the communities that need us most.

As part of the new agreement, students will be able to:

  • Access to virtual and face to face networking opportunities through an international community focused on sharing best practice.
  • Connect with a closed networking group for FRRHH members
  • Apply for the FRRHH Fellowship Fund. This grant funding will aim to support those who wish to gain or further develop skills and experience in remote, rural, and humanitarian healthcare.
  • Access to the FRRHH webinar library.

Gillian Mitchell, Head of Faculties at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh said:

This partnership with UCLan will give the Faculty the opportunity to support students throughout their professional journey and establish the vital next generation of experts in this field.

As these students progress their careers, they will be granted professional opportunities and supported further by the Faculty. The imminent introduction of a second phase of membership provides the opportunity to apply for Membership of Fellowship of the Faculty, a significant faculty development recognising members experience, knowledge, and commitment that otherwise they do not have. 

This partnership with RCSEd along with the existing MOU UCLan has with RCSEd’s Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care, further signifies the shared approach from both Faculties and UCLan in addressing the complexities of delivering high-quality healthcare in often-difficult circumstances. RCSEd are committed towards longevity of working together mutually to improve education and training.

The MOU will see UCLan students benefit from guest lectures from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, with topics looking at a wide range of unique issues that will broaden student’s insight – from oral health in remote and rural Nepal, to surgical training in post-conflict Liberia.

A further element of the new arrangement will also see our students become eligible for an award from RCSEd to the top student at the conclusion of their degree: they will receive a certificate for their portfolio and be given the opportunity to contribute to an online article or blog that can be published across the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh’s communication channels to spotlight the achievement.

The MOU was signed by UCLan’s Head of the School of Medicine Alison Carr and RCSEd’s Head of Faculties Gill Mitchell at UCLan’s Westlakes campus in Cumbria, during the annual Remote and Rural Medicine conference.

Westlakes is home to UCLan’s National Centre for Remote and Rural Medicine. Established in 2017, the centre focuses on the unique needs and challenges of providing medical care in remote and rural settings. Indeed, a report commissioned by the Centre last year revealed the health inequalities experienced by people in the UK’s rural areas, which is something UCLan’s Centre is striving to readdress.

Guest speakers at the conference included Dr Malcolm Russell, Medical Director for UK International Search and Rescue, as well as Major General Tim Hodgetts, Surgeon General, Head of the Army Medical Services.

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