Hull University has launched a postgraduate medical school in collaboration with the local medical profession. It aims to focus on research and health care to benefit the local population.
The school includes departments of medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, public health medicine and medical physics, with clinical academic staff working alongside National Health Service consultants in the two local acute NHS trusts and two community health trusts.
The NHS is providing recurrent annual funding of about Pounds 2 million, and the school has won research income of more than Pounds 3 million from the Medical Research Council, the pharmaceutical industry, and medical charities including the Yorkshire Cancer Research Campaign.
Hull has had aspirations to create a medical school since the 1970s, when it was a candidate for an undergraduate school.
"Hull is the largest city in England without a medical school. This will produce a return in the quality of care delivered to the people of east Yorkshire," said David Purdie, dean of the school.
Allen Hutchison, head of the school's department of public health medicine, also heads the local NHS department of health policy and public health, and Professor Purdie said there would be a continuous stream of data on local health problems, allowing the school to determine which research areas to concentrate on.
Priorities at present include in-vitro fertilisation, early diagnosis of brain, breast and prostate cancer, new screening methods for colorectal cancer, assessing the cost-effectiveness of minimal access surgery, and improving the treatment of diabetic patients.
The university is also likely to set up further departments of radiology, psychiatry, general practice, pathology, paediatrics and traumatology.
"Our principal business is medical research, but we are also teaching medical and science graduates," said Professor Purdie. The school hopes eventually to have more than 50 research students, and will be involved in mandatory continuing medical education for trained staff.