HC Deb 20 June 1968 vol 766 cc1292-3
21. Dr. David Kerr

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether a new medical school will be established at Keele University.

The Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mr. Edward Short)

The proposals for new medical schools contained in the Report of the Royal Commission on Medical Education are being urgently considered by the Government and the University Grants Committee and the other bodies concerned. I am aware of the need for more doctors, and will make a statement as soon as these consultations are completed.

Dr. Kerr

Would my right hon. Friend note that there is some urgency for an announcement by the Government of their policy towards the Royal Commission's Report on Medical Eduction? Would he note that the experiments at Keele University have aroused a good deal of admiration among both educationists and doctors?

Mr. Short

I recognise the need for urgency and the importance of this matter, especially for those concerned with planning in the hospitals and the universities.

Dr. Winstanley

In view of the known tendency for doctors to settle in practice in the areas in which they were trained, would the right hon. Gentleman recognise the desirability of establishing new medical schools in areas in which there is an acute shortage of doctors such as those adjacent to the new University of Keele?

Mr. Short

There is a Question later about the geographical spread of medical schools. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman would wait for that.

Mr. Cant

While North Staffordshire, as an intermediate area, has been very grateful for the developments which the Government have allowed, would my right hon. Friend bear in mind that the development of a medical school at Keele would give as great a boost to the morale of the area as the issue of further industrial development certificates by the Board of Trade?

Mr. Short

I am aware that a great many right hon. and hon. Members would like new medical schools at their own local universities. But we must wait until we have consulted everybody concerned about the recommendations in the Report.