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Deacon announces £6.1 million investment in new Glasgow Medical School

29/03/2001

Scottish Health Minister Susan Deacon today announced a £6.1 million investment to help build a new medical school at Glasgow University.

The investment will help the University to move its world-famous medical school into a new purpose-built facility capable of training and supporting more prospective doctors for the NHS. The new building on University Avenue will be the first purpose-built facility in the Medical School's history and will serve the 2,400 students in the University's Medical Faculty.

Glasgow University Medical School is one of the largest medical schools in Scotland. Among the thousands of doctors it has trained since it was set up in the 18 th century are Joseph Lister, a pioneer in the development of hygiene in hospitals, and Ian Donald, the pioneer of ultrasound.

Construction of the £14m Medical School is already underway and the new building will be a landmark in the University's 550 th anniversary celebrations. The balance of the construction cost has been raised by University fund-raising. The building is expected to be ready for occupation by early 2002.

Ms Deacon said:

"This is an important new investment to support the development of future generations of Scottish doctors. It is good news for Glasgow and its world-famous medical school. Many leading figures in Scottish, UK

and world medicine have embarked on their careers from this school. I hope many more will do so in the future - and that they will choose to do so in the growing NHS in Scotland.

"Today's £6.1 million investment marks a significant contribution to the overall costs of moving the Medical School in Glasgow onto a new purpose-built site. But this is also an investment which will reap dividends across the NHS in Scotland. This is one of our largest Medical Schools. Each year, the majority of newly-qualified doctors leave for posts in Scotland's hospitals and into general practice. As we invest to grow the medical workforce in Scotland over the coming years, I expect there to be more opportunities for these highly-skilled and trained professionals to deliver care here in Scotland.

"We believe that an investment in staff is a direct investment in patient care. This is also a significant capital investment in the infrastructure of the NHS. Today's investment will support doctors in training. But it is one part of a wider investment in supporting NHS staff to deliver modern, patient-centred, high quality care. An investment in better training, better pay, better and more flexible working conditions, and better hospitals and health centres in which to work. An investment in a shared future within the NHS in Scotland."

The Principal of the University of Glasgow, Professor Sir Graeme Davies, said:

"This very substantial and welcome support from the Scottish Executive serves to underline the important role of the University's Medical School in providing the National Health Service with the highly trained doctors which will be required to address this country's health needs in the future. The construction of the new Medical School in this the University's 550 th year, well symbolises the University's commitment not only to teaching and research but to promoting the well being of the wider society."

Professor Michael Farthing, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Glasgow, said:

"I welcome this very positive endorsement of our University by the Scottish Executive. This purpose-built building will provide state-of-the-art facilities to train tomorrow's doctors with one of the most imaginative curricula in the UK. For the first time the Medical School in Glasgow will have a dedicated facility which will provide a focus for its undergraduate educational activity"

BACKGROUND

1. The grant of £6.1 million is being made available to the University of Glasgow by the Scottish Executive Health Department through the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC).

2. The University launched a fund-raising campaign in January 1999 with a target of £14 million. Over 1200 donation have been made already - from small individual gifts to a £3.5 million cheque from the Wolfson Foundation.

3. The new building will occupy a site on University Avenue to the west of the main building and opposite the Boyd Orr building. The new building has been designed to accommodate the 'problem-based' learning curriculum recommended by the General Medical Council in 1993.

4. An artists impression of the new building can be accessed through Lynn Bell at the University's Publicity services - l.bell@admin.gla.ac.uk

News Release: SE0840/2001
29 Mar 2001