New medical school in the north could be ready by 2025, says health board chief
Jez Hemming, local democracy reporter
A new medical school for the north could be ready by 2025 and we’ll know what it costs by the summer, a health board chief executive has revealed.
Jo Whitehead, CEO of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, revealed the news in her report to the board’s monthly meeting on Thursdsay.
The new Medical and Health Sciences School will be a collaboration between the health board and Bangor University, if it gets approval from Welsh Government.
A study of what the capacity of the school should be is in the final stages and proposals should be lodged with Minister for Health and Social Care Eluned Morgan by the end of July, said Whitehead.
In her report, she said: “BCUHB and Bangor University are working in partnership and have established programme arrangements in order achieve the shared ambition of developing a transformational Medical and Health Sciences School in North Wales by 2025.
“Work to develop capital investment plans is progressing with an ambition initial estimates expected to be completed in June 2021 and final estimates to be available in July 2021.”
An economic impact assessment will also be completed at the same time to help the business case for the new venture.
The proposed curriculum for the school will have “inter-professional, preventative and community led health and medicine at its core”, she said.
Students at the school will be given placements around North Wales as part of their practical experience which will hopefully lead to more doctors and future consultants settling in the health board area.
Betsi Cadwaladr has struggled to recruit to clinical positions over the past few years.
Eighteen medical students have already been undertaking a significant part of their training at Bangor University during the current academic year, as part of the C21 collaboration with Cardiff University – with 19 attending the previous year.
Welsh Government said it had invested £7m into facilitating the course but students still have to take part of it in Cardiff.
When the idea of a North Wales Medical School was first announced in September last year, former Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething said he wanted a task and finish group to assess if the proposal was “practical and achievable”.
A task and finish group chaired by Professor Elizabeth Treasure, has been looking at the idea since last autumn.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.