Devon

Plymouth council bids to stop Peninsula medical school split

Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry
Image caption The plans would see a medical and dentistry school in Plymouth and a medical school in Exeter

Proposals which would see a Devon medical school divided are being fought by Plymouth City Council.

Plymouth and Exeter universities announced in January they wanted to separate the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry.

They said creating a separate school in each city would result in places for more students.

But Plymouth's councillors have voted unanimously to ask for the plans be put on hold for a 12-week consultation.

'Viability concerns'

Councillor Lynda Bower said the health and adult social care overview and scrutiny panel had been concerned about the lack of consultation, both with major stakeholders and the public.

"We also have concerns about the long-term viability of two separate schools of medicine within 40 miles of each other," the panel's chair told BBC News.

The separation proposals, which would see a medical and dental school in Plymouth and a medical school in Exeter, have already been criticised by the Devon Local Medical Committee.

In a letter to Plymouth University Vice Chancellor Wendy Purcell, the committee said dismantling of the Peninsula would be a "disaster".

The college currently has places for 200 medical and 64 dentistry students.

Before any move could go ahead, the proposals will have to be approved by the General Medical and Dental Councils, the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the NHS.

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