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University of Bolton hosts School of Medicine community consultation event

Members of the public attended a community consultation at the University of Bolton to hear about exciting plans for a new School of Medicine.

The audience listened to presentations from Professor George E Holmes DL, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Bolton; Dr Fiona Noden, Chief Executive of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, and Professor Iqbal Singh, Pro Vice Chancellor, Institute of Medicine at the University of Bolton.

The event, held in the Deane Lecture Theatre, was chaired by the University’s Provost Professor Zubair Hanslot.

Medical professionals, councillors and members of the public were among the attendees who took part in a positive question-and-answer session.

Professor Holmes, who has been Vice Chancellor for 18 years, disclosed that he had been planning to launch a School of Medicine since 2007.

He said: “This is a historic development for this University, having a medical school.

“We believe in providing staff for the NHS and the health service more generally who represent the community they serve, and that’s really important to us.

“What we know is that health outcomes are better when the health professionals are recognised by the community they serve and understand the needs of the community they serve.

“Supporting countries across the globe in educating their health workforces is massively important, but health also begins here at home, in terms of providing clinicians who come from here, train here, develop here, live here and stay here.

“They add to the community, they support the community, and that is so central to this particular medical school. What makes us distinct and unique is our widening access, our inclusion, our view of doctors being compassionate when working with patients.”

Professor Holmes also stressed that the School of Medicine development would have significantly wider benefits for the local economy.

Dr Noden added that the Trust was proud to be working with such “an entrepreneurial University”.

She said: “Hopefully, we will educate many more people than Bolton needs, and those people will be educated in Bolton but work across the whole country.”

The audience was shown a time-lapse video of the building’s construction, as well as a digital ‘walkthrough’ of the facility, showing what it will look like when completed, with the most modern design and equipment available.

A number of people praised the application, its inclusivity and its aim to train medical professionals from as wide a variety of backgrounds as possible.

If approved, the School of Medicine will be housed in a new £40m state-of-the-art building, which is being constructed on the grounds of the Royal Bolton Hospital in Farnworth.

Afterwards, Professor Hanslot thanked everyone for attending and urged them to fill in an online form as an essential part of the feedback process.

Further Links

Presentation by Prof Iqbal Singh CBE – Development of an Undergraduate Medical School in Bolton (15.10.23)