Keele University School of Medicine, UK

Keele Medical School is a medical school based on campus at Keele University near Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, England. The first two years of the school’s MBChB course are taught mainly on Keele University campus although early exposure to patients is of importance and in the second year there is considerable interaction in a clinical setting.

Years three to five, however, are principally taught within the Royal Stoke University Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent and the County Hospital (both part of University Hospitals North Midlands Trust), at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust and South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Medical students also have placements in general practices in Staffordshire and Shropshire.

The school originally accepted about 120 UK/EU and 10 non-EU medical students each year for the 5-year MBChB course and 10 UK/EU/non-EU students for the 6-year course. From 2011 the total accepted increased to about 150 from all sources. This number may vary depending on NHS requirements and funding.

The Royal Commission on Medical Education (1965–68) issued its report (popularly known as the Todd Report) in 1968 on the state of medical education in the United Kingdom. The commission estimated that by 1994 there would be a need to train more than 4,500 doctors a year for the United Kingdom, and that this would have to be achieved by both increasing the numbers of medical students at existing medical schools, and establishing a number of new ones. It recommended that new medical schools should be immediately established at the universities of Nottingham, Southampton and Leicester.

The Royal Commission considered the possibility of medical schools being established at Keele University, Hull University, Warwick University and Swansea University (then University College, Swansea). North Staffordshire was deemed a very good site as it had a growing local population and several large hospitals. However, 150 students a year would be required to make it economically and educationally viable and thus the scheme was postponed. In 1978, the Keele Department of Postgraduate Medicine opened. This department conducted medical research, and played a part in postgraduate medical education, but did not teach undergraduate medical students. In 2003, 35 years after the publication of the Todd Report, the current medical school was founded.

From 2002 the school began teaching clinical undergraduate medicine to clinical medical students who had completed their pre-clinical medical education at either School of Medicine, University of Manchester or the Bute Medical School (University of St Andrews). These students followed the curriculum of the Manchester School of Medicine clinical course, and after three years of clinical study at Keele, were awarded the degrees of MBChB by the University of Manchester. The first cohort of students completing their course at Keele did so in 2005. In 2003, Keele started teaching the full five-year course, using the Manchester curriculum. Both pre-clinical and clinical medical education were established in Staffordshire and Shropshire. Keele began to develop its own undergraduate medical curriculum in 2007.

From the 2011/12 academic year all students have followed the Keele curriculum. In January 2012 it was announced that the General Medical Council (GMC) had approved and registered the new five-year undergraduate curriculum. Students graduating in 2012 were awarded the Keele MBChB, wearing a new Keele two-colour hood reflecting the fact that students gain two degrees Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. Previously medical students at Keele have graduated with a Manchester degree. The GMC visited and scrutinised progress throughout the course’s development.

Keele’s curriculum is integrated, with clinical experience and skills being taught in years one and two, and weekly science teaching in year three. A small number of graduate entry places are available for year two of the course and there is a six-year option for applicants with non-science qualifications. From 2006, applicants have been required to sit the UKCAT admission test. Years 1 and 2 teaching takes place on Keele University campus. Clinical teaching, years 3–5, takes place at the Royal Stoke University Hospital site, in Hartshill. Teaching at Keele also involves attachments at District General hospitals in Stafford, Shrewsbury and Telford, as well as attachments to General Practitioners(GP) in Staffordshire and Shropshire.

Keele Medical School promotes the use of online learning material, such as Keele Basic Bites, which is a free online video-based learning tool for Keele University Medical students, created by senior academic staff, providing medical education in an entertaining, as well as an informative fashion.

The School of Nursing & Midwifery is located in the Clinical Education Centre (CEC) at the Royal Stoke University Hospital, together with the Health Library, and part of the School of Medicine. At undergraduate level, there is possibility to specialize in Adult Nursing, Children’s Nursing, Learning Disability Nursing, Mental Health Nursing and Midwifery.

Keele medical students formed the Keele Medical Society (KMS) in 2005. The organisation aims to represent students and promote social inclusion.

In August 2013 a £2.8m state-of-the-art Anatomy Skills Facility was completed with the school joining a select group of institutions offering leading edge facilities to attract surgeons from across the UK. It will also provide improved facilities for students and also offer senior surgeons the chance to improve high level skills.

A £2.2m extension to the medical school to accommodate the Research Institute for Primary Care Health Sciences (iPCHS) is scheduled for completion in November 2016  An additional £21m medical research facility (including new laboratories) originally scheduled for completion in Stoke-on-Trent will be constructed on the Keele campus instead.

In Nursing and Midwifery, Keele has performed particularly well. In 2017, Keele was ranked 4 out of the UK’s 69 schools according to The Guardian with a 98% satisfaction rate amongst its student cohort.For 2017, the A’level requirements is BBC with all candidates for preregistration Nursing and Midwifery programmes are required to meet or exceed NMC requirements, including literacy and numeracy skills.

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