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Stephen Morgan MP hails new medical school win as progress towards ‘Portsmouth training the doctors it needs for the future’

By 13 December 2023No Comments

Stephen Morgan MP has welcomed the announcement today [13 December] that Portsmouth will begin training its own doctors helping to tackle the crisis in access to local health services.

King’s College, the University of Portsmouth, the region’s health trusts, GPs and partners have been working closely on the medical school project over the last year, with the Portsmouth South MP taking action and backing the campaign in Parliament.

Stephen Morgan MP has been taking tireless action to secure the new asset for Portsmouth by tabling questions in Parliament, lobbying Ministers directly, meeting with the University to discuss proposals, visiting and liaising with local GP and NHS providers and supporting the bid by highlighting wider issues affecting access to primary care and the doctor recruitment and retention crisis.

The announcement today confirmed an agreement that the University of Portsmouth will deliver the medical course leading to a King’s College Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degree (MBBS) through the expertise of academics from both institutions. The course focuses on integrated medical science with clinical teaching, and on learning in close contact with patients.

Students will have the opportunity to learn in academic and clinical settings including at Portsmouth University NHS Trust’s Queen Alexandra Hospital, who will be the lead clinical partner for the new medical school, and with Southern, Solent and IoW NHS Trusts, the region’s GPs and all other regional healthcare bodies and partners.

The branch campus forms part of the University of Portsmouth’s strategic vision to eventually open its own medical school.

Mr Morgan has been a strong supporter of the medical school bid, calling in Parliament for the Government to back the plan, recognising the value of the asset in addressing the severe shortage of doctors in the city, currently facing the lowest average number of GPs per person in the country.

Commenting, Stephen Morgan MP, said:

“I welcome the news that Portsmouth will begin training its future NHS workforce as a significant step towards getting our city the doctors we desperately need.

“The University of Portsmouth deserves recognition for its longstanding commitment to addressing local health care challenges by enabling people to learn and develop in our city.

“I was pleased to play my part in Parliament in securing this vital asset for our city”.

Commenting on how difficult it is to get a GP appointment, the Portsmouth MP added:

“Too often our communities have unfortunately been paying the price for the Government’s continued failure to fix the crisis in recruitment and retention of GPs.

“That’s why I will continue to do all I can to lobby the Government to ensure the University can go further in supporting our efforts in Portsmouth to protect our local NHS and create a workforce fit for the future”.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth, Professor Graham Galbraith said:

“A medical school in our city is a long-held vision for the University of Portsmouth.

“Our city does not have adequate numbers of GPs and the intention is that this development will contribute to reducing the waiting times local people experience in gaining access to services.

“The launch of our new graduate entry medical school will enable us to play our part in supporting the health of our community and we are thrilled to be working in partnership with King’s College London to deliver medical education that is unquestionably one of the best not just in Britain, but globally.”

Caring for our local NHS is one of Mr Morgan’s key priorities. He has taken a range of actions to help improve access to Portsmouth’s NHS services, including raising concerns with regional health leaders about local GP practice closures, worked alongside campaigners calling for more GP practices to open in the city and holding ministers to account in Parliament on their failure to recruit the GPs and staff the NHS needs.