A new £2.8m state-of-the-art medical education centre has been officially opened in the University, in a bid to strengthen relations between the School of Medicine and the Welsh NHS.
The new centre, which will support between 60 and 90 undergraduate medicine students each week, is based in the Keir Hardie University Health Park located in Merthyr Tydfil. It will allow students to gain essential experience and knowledge in ‘community-based training’ and specialist mental health and addiction placements.
With the centre’s links to local GP practices, the new venture is proof of the Welsh Government’s aim to work with both the NHS and universities to ensure high quality healthcare in Wales. Funding more than 15,000 health students and trainees in Wales, the government currently invests £350m in health professional education per year.
The centre was opened by Welsh Government Ministers Mark Drakeford, responsible for health and social services, and Huw Lewis, Education Minister.
Dean of the School of Medicine, Professor John Bligh said: ‘This teaching centre, right in the heart of South East Wales is a symbol of the growing partnership between Cardiff University and the NHS in Wales.
‘Training medical students and young doctors in the environment where they are going to work is motivating, engaging, and above all, deeply effective in recruiting qualified doctors and healthcare professionals.’
According to the Dean, the feedback from patients, teachers and students involved has been highly positive. It is hoped that the centre will act as an example for other regions in Wales to follow.
Minister for Health and Social Services Professor Drakeford also praised the centre as he explained: ‘Education and workforce planning are fundamental to ensuring we have the right people with the right skills in the right places to continue to deliver top class services to Welsh patients.
Huw Lewis added: ‘We believe that it is important that universities are rooted in the communities they serve. This new facility is not only great news for medical students and others who will learn and train here but also for the local area.
‘This centre brings state-of-the-art undergraduate healthcare professional education right to the heart of the community in Merthyr Tydfil.’