Sarah Newton welcomes announcement of extra doctor training places for Truro

Local MP Sarah Newton has welcomed this week’s announcement that many more doctors are to be trained in Truro each year.

The University of Exeter Medical School, which has a campus in Truro, is to expand from 130 student places to 218 – one of the biggest increases in the country.

Of the 88 additional places, 15 will be available this year and 73 will open up in 2019.

It follows a national bidding process which had a focus on helping more students from disadvantaged backgrounds and boosting the NHS specialties and geographical areas that face the greatest challenges.

Currently, around half of the University of Exeter’s medical students relocate to Truro during the five-year course and undertake placements at Royal Cornwall Hospital or elsewhere.

Mrs Newton, the Conservative MP for Truro and Falmouth, said: “I’m delighted the government has recognised the university’s excellence in medical training and I applaud everyone involved for securing these extra places.

“It’s great that lots of talented local students from disadvantaged backgrounds will be able to train and serve here in Truro, which is important as rural and coastal areas like ours can have more difficulty attracting new recruits.

“Medical students contribute a huge amount to the local NHS during their placements, which I’ve seen at first hand during my visits to Royal Cornwall Hospital, while also boosting the local economy.

“With research showing that doctors tend to remain in the areas they train in, either in hospitals or as GPs, this bodes well for the future of the NHS in Truro and Cornwall as a whole.”

The government is currently overseeing the biggest ever expansion of the NHS medical workforce, with 1,500 more doctors set to be trained each year by 2020 and 630 of those starting this September.

The University of Plymouth was also successful, securing 70 additional places.

Mrs Newton said: “There are already over 1,200 more doctors in hospitals across the South West since 2010, and it is important the government builds on this good work because demands on the NHS are growing, largely caused by our ageing population.

“The government is putting an extra £1.3billion into the NHS in our region and this latest announcement reaffirms its commitment to Cornwall, the wider South West and to providing high-quality, free healthcare for everyone.”