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At the ribbon cutting ceremony, a number of representatives from Aston Medical School's external partners from across the West Midlands, including NHS Trusts, clinical commission groups and key hospital trusts, had the chance to meet some of Aston’s medical students who provided demonstrations and a tour of their new clinical education facilities.

The Medical School has moved into a dedicated new space in Aston’s main building, integrating it with the rest of the University community. With a total spend of £780,000, the facility opens just a year after the Medical School accepted its first cohort of undergraduate students in 2018 and in time to welcome its second cohort which started in September 2019.

Pro-Chancellor Dame Yve Buckland, DBE said:

“Although Aston Medical School had initially planned to open its own separate building within the Aston campus, the University Council decided that the school should be fully integrated, to enable close and collaborative working across the University. Its new home ensures Aston’s medical students still get the originally planned high-tech equipment that is integral to their training, whilst remaining part of the wider community at Aston.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Alec Cameron, Aston University added: "This suite of space was part of the Conference Aston facility, our conference centre on campus, which already had a high quality teaching and seminar rooms in our main building. We decided this was the best and most appropriate space to provide to our medical school.

"These facilities will complement the clinical settings our students will work in while on assessed work placements and are an important asset for our doctors of the future.”

As well as housing state of the art group work rooms, which include C-touch screens and areas for private study, students benefit from a new high tech clinical skills centre with a spend of £500,000 on technology to support their training. Students have access to a simulated hospital ward with mid-fidelity manikins and SMOTS camera technology that allow students to be recorded discreetly during medical simulations and provide instant feedback.

The clinical training facility also houses rooms with Sonosite ultra sound machines, and a powerlab for physiological testing including blood pressure, lung capacity, ECG readings, EMG and pulse oximetry; to create a simulated medical setting. The rooms also have a range of part task trainers that allow for the introduction and practice of clinical and resuscitation skills in a safe environment, as well as life size anatomical models  

In her speech before the cutting of the ribbon, Pro-Chancellor Dame Yve Buckland, DBE said:

“We’ve now moved into our new home, but what also makes a great medical school, particularly a millennial medical school, is a strong commitment to the community and we’re really pleased that we have secured over 80 general practice placements enabling students to go onto clinical placement early in term one of year one.

“We are really pleased about the ongoing widening participation work via the Doug Ellis Pathway to Healthcare Programme, which is helping students from disadvantaged backgrounds enrol onto medicine, but also now onto other courses such as pharmacy and optometry.

“We also have the new Keith Bradshaw Introduction to Healthcare programme targeting Years 9 to 11 and that’s seeing Aston now out there in the community talking to over 600-800 students in a range of workshops and encouraging them to come onto campus.”

Article credit: Aston University