A New Medical School for Kent and Medway

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Canterbury Christ Church University and University of Kent in partnership

Our Shared Vision

Kent and Medway Medical School (KMMS)

Our shared vision is to create a new medical school for Kent and Medway that becomes a beacon for first-class medical education and research. The new academic unit will attract the most talented aspiring doctors from within the local community and beyond, offering training and development opportunities that will help to keep that talent in Kent and Medway. It will be the first choice for medical students aiming to work within collaborative multi-professional teams to achieve excellence in person-centred medical care in the UK.


new medical school

The new medical school will contribute to:

  • recruiting the best medical talent to Kent and Medway
  • retaining skilled medical professionals within the region’s healthcare system
  • seeking innovative solutions to improve healthcare in the region
  • collaborating with local education networks to inspire new entrants to the medical profession.

section-study-540x540The new medical school is supported by Brighton and Sussex Medical School as ‘parent partner’ institution. It is the UK’s top-ranking undergraduate medical school for overall student satisfaction (achieving 99% in the most recent National Student Survey) and works extensively with NHS organisations throughout the South East. Experts from the School have advised on the bid process and on the proposed programmes the new medical school will offer.

The universities’ new medical school will:

  • offer a model that starts in the community and primary care then moves into acute
  • deliver 100 undergraduate places annually in a centre for first-class medical education and research to support future workforce planning in the region
  • offer five-year undergraduate programmes resulting in joint degrees from both institutions in Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
  • address workforce shortages in priority areas by developing doctors in specialities that are currently under-represented in Kent and Medway
  • provide collaborative teams that are embedded within local NHS providers and are committed to leading and transforming healthcare delivery
  • will use high-quality research to find evidence-based solutions to promote health, address local challenges and reduce inequalities in provision across the county.

Benefits to the local community

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Our partnership will help to address the healthcare provision challenges in our region by meeting the urgent need to recruit and retain skilled medical professionals. It will offer exceptional training and development opportunities for aspiring doctors in Kent and Medway who wish to learn and apply their skills within the local area.

We will work extensively with local schools and colleges to inspire a new generation of medical professionals and source students from within our region, ensuring that the future medical workforce in Kent and Medway is truly representative of the community that it serves.

Kent and Medway’s population is expected to grow by almost a quarter by 2031. The medical school will help to address current and future challenges in staffing NHS roles in our front-line services. Its programmes will focus on addressing health inequalities in our region by plugging the current gaps in healthcare provision and, in the longer-term, transforming the patient experience within our local area.


Kent and Medway has:

249
GP practices

4
organisations providing community care

4
hospital trusts providing services in seven acute hospitals

13
community hospitals

3
organisations providing mental health care

1
ambulance trust

The KMMS student offer

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Glenn Douglas

"We have been clear that Kent and Medway have a big problem staffing NHS posts, and this is causing significant strain on health services. Having a medical school locally is known to provide an essential boost to recruitment and retention and we know this is vital, particularly in our coastal areas. We want people in Kent and Medway to seriously consider health and care as a career, and the universities will now be offering an extensive range of courses – including medicine – within our region."

Glenn DouglasChief Executive of the health and social care sustainability and transformation partnership for Kent and Medway

Frequently asked questions

KMMS is a collaborative, equal, initiative between Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Kent, with its own distinctive identity.

The KMMS will be open in September 2020. Applications will open during the 2019/2020 UCAS cycle, ready for the first intake of 100 undergraduates in the September 2020.

The School will initially offer 100 undergraduate medical places for Home/EU students, and will recruit international students as allowed at the point of application. On completion of their studies, students will receive a joint award from both universities.

Undergraduate medical courses span five years of full-time study. The first two years are primarily based at university and at KMMS these years will also include ‘early clinical placements’ in Primary and Community Care settings (eg GP practices) across Kent and Medway for one day each week.

Years 3-5 are known as ‘clinical years’. Students will be placed in the Secondary Care setting (eg hospitals) in Kent or Medway during this time, gaining practical experience while continuing their academic education.

There will be a clear link between the Primary and Community Care settings and the subsequent Secondary Care settings, to enable a true appreciation of patient care pathways.

By 2020, students will have an ‘academic home’ on both university campus sites in Canterbury, where they will be primarily based in their first two years of study.

By 2022, as students move through the course into the clinical years, they will be placed at locations throughout Kent and Medway within the health and care sector, potentially accessing other campus locations (for examples the Universities at Medway site).

To support this, both universities’ Canterbury campus sites are being developed to accommodate the medical school. At Christ Church the new building on the former Canterbury Prison site, due to open in 2020, is being redesigned to include an extended Simulation Suite and a potential Anatomy Lab.

In the meantime, the Governor’s House at Christ Church is providing accommodation for the Project Management Office (PMO) and the initial office location for the KMMS Core Team.

KMMS will initially use the General Medical Council’s (GMC) approved and established curriculum, ‘on licence’ from the Brighton and Sussex Medical School. This curriculum has high satisfaction ratings in the National Student Survey, and closely matches our KMMS aspirations in addressing specific workforce shortages across Kent and Medway.

The GMC approval process has six stages to complete. The final-stage assessment and approval is at the end of the first complete delivery of the course.

The joint initiative brings the combined strengths of both universities to offer a compelling and vibrant medical school offer for the region. The University of Kent has a strong track record in biomedical teaching and research, while Christ Church has strong leadership and provision of high quality programmes which include simulation and placement expertise for health professions across 24 subjects.

The joint initiative also ensures that the start-up costs associated with this new development can be shared between the two institutions, as there is no capital investment from government to support this initiative. KMMS will use existing systems and processes, drawing on the best of the two universities. It will also draw on lessons learnt from other joint medical school initiatives and develop an offer which promotes efficiency and effectiveness.

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