COMMERCIAL: Milton Keynes Hospital Foundation Trust has been given university hospital status as part of plans to create the country’s first private medical school.
- Name changed to Milton Keynes University Hospital Foundation Trust
- Partnership with Buckingham University to build £6m academic centre
- Chief executive wants to turn Milton Keynes into “world class” teaching centre
The trust will take on its first cohort of undergraduate medics, in partnership with the independently funded Buckingham University, in 2017 and has announced plans to build a £6m academic centre onsite.
Trust chief executive Joe Harrison said he wants Milton Keynes to become “a world class centre for healthcare, teaching and research”.
A trust spokesman said that the move would allow it to attract, train and retain the “best” doctors, and contribute towards the financial stability of the organisation.
He also said the acute provider is also looking to work with other universities in the region to expand its “educational base”.
Earlier this year the Department of Health gave the trust permission to rename itself Milton Keynes University Hospital Foundation Trust, in recognition of the fact that it will begin teaching undergraduates. The new name took effect earlier this month.
The plans to establish the medical school, announced in January, will see the first students arrive on the wards next month.
The university is funding the construction of the academic centre and new teaching facilities.
A trust spokesman said it hopes to be teaching 100 students a year by January 2017.
He added that there had been “senior level” involvement from Health Education England since the medical school project began.
The trust is looking to work with other universities to increase the number of undergraduates it places, but was not in a position to say which institutions, the spokesman said.
He added: “We are working with a number of universities now to expand our overall education base.
“We would hope that our students would want to continue working at the hospital and within the wider NHS”.
Milton Keynes has previously given a small number of placements to postgraduate medical students from Oxford, Northampton and Bedford universities.
As part of the plan, the trust also has a long term ambition to have a separate onsite facilities dedicated to clinical research.
Unlike other British medical schools, Buckingham University’s international student numbers will not be capped.
Information provided to HSJ
14 April 2015