King’s College London Portsmouth branch campus to train doctors

Russell Group university will treble its graduate medicine intake by training students on England’s south coast

December 13, 2023
Source: istock

The University of Portsmouth is to become the latest university to establish a medical school after announcing a partnership with King’s College London to train students.

Under plans announced on 13 December, King’s will more than treble its annual intake of graduate entry trainee medics – from 23 students a year to 77 annually – thanks to the creation of a new branch campus based at Portsmouth’s medical school.

The four-year course, which is open to biomedical life sciences graduates from autumn 2024, will lead to a King’s bachelor of medicine and surgery degree (MBBS) through the expertise of academics from both institutions. It builds on the successful partnership between both universities in the delivery of the King’s undergraduate dental education.

Students will have the opportunity to learn in academic and clinical settings including at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust’s Queen Alexandra Hospital, which 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 deal helps to fulfil Portsmouth’s “long-held vision” of establishing a medical school, said the university’s vice-chancellor, Graham Galbraith.

“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,” said Professor Galbraith.

The school’s creation is part of a trend for new publicly funded medical schools based outside Russell Group universities. Under a 2018 government training plan to expand medical school places by 1,500, or 25 per cent, schools will be set up in regions where it is hard to recruit doctors.

New training centres have recently been established at the universities of Central Lancashire, Lincoln, Sunderland, as well as Anglia Ruskin, Aston and Edge Hill universities.

Last year the University of Cumbria announced it would begin to train medical students in the north west from 2025 after agreeing a partnership with Imperial College London.

While King’s medical students will be based at the university from next year, Portsmouth aims to take its own intake of medical students in 2028-29, with the General Medical Council having already granted stage 3 approval for the school.

Welcoming the “exciting new partnership”, Shitij Kapur, vice-chancellor of King’s, called it an “unprecedented opportunity for both institutions, combining King’s’ prestigious and well-respected medical education with the University of Portsmouth’s expertise in rare diseases, genomics and neurology”.

“By co-creating a new medical school in Portsmouth, we will help to redress health disparities in the Portsmouth area and provide the next generation of doctors for the region,” said Professor Kapur.

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