Charles Kenyon's Country Diary: The sector's key role in medical school initiative

The new school at the University of Lincoln hopes to attract local students

Charles Kenyon
Charles Kenyon

Lincolnshire has no medical school. It is hard to get doctors to come to work in the county too. One in five GP posts is vacant and many more are unfilled because of temporary absences. So a great initiative from the University of Lincoln is to build a medical school to attract students from Lincolnshire.

Researchers believe there is a wealth of untapped talent in many schools in the county in the shape of teenage pupils who might not have considered medicine as a career. The aim is to embrace potential, rather than concentrate on grades, and build a medical school that would qualify about 80 doctors a year, with as many as possible returning to their home towns as GPs, or to the staff-strapped major hospitals, from Grimsby and Scunthorpe to Lincoln and Boston.

It might be expected that this would be a totally government-funded project. Not so. Of the £22m needed, a quarter has been raised through the Local Enterprise Partnership, and Lincoln University matches that from its own resources. The remaining £11.5m is being funded by individual donations.

This really surprised me. The medical school will stand proudly at the front of the university on the road from the south of England. So, for any southern philanthropists with Lincolnshire connections wanting to donate, you can have a building, a library, a clinical suite named after you – just get in contact as soon as you can. Building starts in March.

Charles Kenyon lives near Market Rasen, retiredcolonel@oldvicarage.net

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