Winter is the toughest time for the NHS, and organisations in Kent are facing critical challenges. One of the biggest reasons local hospitals are struggling is because they can’t recruit enough doctors. That’s why Kent needs a medical school - to train the doctors of the future – and I’ve joined forces with other MPs from across Kent, and across parties, to call for one.
I organised a letter signed by 16 other MPs to explain the serious recruitment difficulties NHS organisations in Kent have, and how much our area has to offer medical students. We said that a medical school would bring huge benefits to our region and improve local people’s health, particularly in some of our disadvantaged communities along the coastline – where life expectancy for men if eight years lower than the rest of the country.
We wrote: “A medical school would bring a host of benefits to our region. Kent and Medway NHS organisations are facing severe recruitment challenges and the region is also home to some significantly disadvantaged communities, particularly along the coastline. A local medical school will help to address these challenges, attracting newly qualified and senior doctors, and improving health outcomes for the population.”
We explained that a shortage of doctors in Kent has meant that acute services have had to be withdrawn from some hospitals, and research has shown that the region needs 530 more GPs to bring the number of GPs per population into line with the national average. Kent is one of the largest parts of the UK without a medical school.
“We face serious health inequalities across Kent & Medway, with life expectancy for males up to eight years lower in the most deprived areas, such as the coastal communities, than the rest of the county. These communities provide some of the greatest opportunities for health gain potential in the country but we must have the healthcare workforce to achieve this. We firmly believe that a medical school would be transformative for our local health services, and urge you to consider this potential,” they wrote.
The universities are committed to offering the best possible teaching with a strong multi-disciplinary ethos. Our area has an established life sciences research and development industry, so a medical school could contribute to the development of this important sector, boosting the economy of the region and the country.
With the Government committed to training 1,500 more doctors a year, what better place to do it than Kent?”
You can read the letter here.
|Medical school letter||2.18 MB|