Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has announced that the current cap on medical training places will be raised by 25% from 2018. By 2020 there will be an extra 1,500 places per year. The government will fund these extra 1,500 student places in an attempt to make the NHS less reliant on agency staff and doctors from overseas. It is also hoped that this will lessen the strain on the NHS, and prevent understaffing. To provide spaces for these students, 5 new medical schools have been launched. They are in Sunderland, Lancashire, Canterbury, Lincoln and Chelmsford, to encourage doctors to train and practice in rural and coastal locations. Over 500 new places begin in September at Anglia Ruskin University, with the rest phased in over 2019 and 2020.
- By Philippa Coster