It was great to join the Vice Chancellors of Canterbury Christchurch University and the University of Kent for a tour of the new STEM building in Canterbury.
This state of the art facility is home to the new Kent and Medway Medical School, which is giving doctors and nurses the best possible training.
I remember after I was first elected in 2015, working with our local universities to turn the vision of a Kent medical school into a plan. I then lobbied the Health Secretary at every opportunity to secure funding for the project.
Six years later, and the first 107 medical students have almost completed year one of their studies. Studying medicine is hard work at the best of times, but particularly this year on account of Covid restrictions.
I know the medical school is already proving an asset to the local community with a number of staff and students supporting our local NHS during the pandemic, including working as volunteers in local vaccination centres.
We need dedicated healthcare professionals more than ever in Kent, and I’m delighted that the new medical school will help us recruit and train more homegrown doctors and nurses.
This is another step in helping us deliver 50,000 more nurses for our NHS and getting the improvements to local healthcare that people want to see.