30 March 2001
For immediate release
The Universities of Sussex and Brighton were told today (March 30) that their joint bid to create the first undergraduate medical school in the region has been successful.
The Government's announcement means that the new Brighton and Sussex Medical School for 128 trainee doctors is expected to be up and running by 2003.
The Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton will be the main teaching hospital, with additional teaching facilities at the universities' Falmer sites. The £28.5million venture, which will be funded by the Department of Health and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), will create around 20 new consultant appointments as well as the equivalent of 20 full-time jobs in teaching.
The bid was made last December in response to a Government report, which recommended an increase in the number of medical students in the UK by more than 1,000. Out of more than 20 bids from higher education institutions around the country to either set up new medical schools or increase student numbers in existing ones, 16 were successful.
Professor Alasdair Smith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex, said:
"The new school will be firmly based on the established strengths of the two universities in educating and training health professionals and in science teaching and research. Both institutions are committed to innovation in teaching and provide an ideal base for a forward-looking approach to medical education."
Sir David Watson, Director of the University of Brighton, said: "The Brighton and Sussex Medical School will be a major asset for the communities of the city and the region, as well as the two universities, their students and staff, and the NHS. We look forward to being able to play our part in forming the next generation of doctors and meeting the challenges of modern health care."
Sir Brian Fender, chief executive of HEFCE, said: "This announcement will provide a major boost to medical care in this country. The NHS needs more doctors. Our universities have, once again, responded impressively in showing that they are willing and able to provide those doctors, trained to the highest standards. We are delighted by the high quality of the bids."
For further information, please contact Jacqui Bealing, University of Sussex, Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456, J.A.Bealing@sussex.ac.uk or Andrew Proctor, University of Sussex, Tel. 01273 678019, A.M.Proctor@sussex.ac.uk.