RCP comment: Jeremy Hunt announces 1,500 new medical school places

RCP president Professor Jane Dacre welcomes the pledge by the secretary of state for health, Jeremy Hunt, that UK medical schools will be able to offer 1,500 new places a year.

Professor Dacre said:

We strongly welcome Jeremy Hunt's announcement today, which responds promptly to the RCP’s call last week for more medical school places in our major report Underfunded, underdoctored, overstretched.

The RCP has long argued that rota gaps and staff shortages are the greatest threat to patient safety and have significantly contributed to low morale among junior doctors. The NHS needs more doctors, and this dramatic increase in medical school places will help relieve many of the pressures faced by the NHS in the long term, and support a more sustainable workforce.

However the NHS is facing many problems now and every opportunity to increase patient access to care must be met in addition to the expansion in the future workforce. We look forward to working with the government to develop these places where they are most needed, and to understand from the Department of Health how universities will be able to fund the places and attract the best students into medicine, which remains a brilliant career.

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Notes to editors

For more information please contact Morgan Evans, senior communications adviser at the RCP:

Email: morgan.evans@rcplondon.ac.uk

Telephone: +44 (0)20 3075 1468.