Minister visits ARU ahead of new NHS workforce plan

Published: 27 June 2023 at 14:00

Will Quince MP and Professor Nigel Harrison

Minister of State for Health and Social Care speaks to students and visits facilities

The Minister of State for Health and Social Care, Will Quince MP, visited Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) ahead of a new workforce plan for the NHS to speak to staff and students and view some of ARU’s state-of-the-art healthcare training facilities.

ARU is the largest provider of Nursing, Midwifery, Health and Social Care students in England and its first ever cohort of undergraduate Medicine students will graduate next month.

Mr Quince, who is also MP for Colchester, visited ARU’s Chelmsford campus on Monday (26 June) alongside MP for Chelmsford, Vicky Ford. They met with Professor Nigel Harrison, Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care, along with Dr Sanjiv Ahluwalia, Head of the School of Medicine, and Dr Melanie Bird, Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Vicky Ford MP, Dr Nigel Harrison, Will Quince MP, Dr Melanie Bird and Dr Sanjiv Ahluwalia in the School of Medicine at Anglia Ruskin University

The Minister was given a tour of ARU’s School of Medicine, the first undergraduate medical school in Essex, including seeing mock GP consultation rooms and state-of-the-art AI manikins that are able to present with varying medical conditions.

The MPs also had the opportunity to speak with ARU staff and Nursing, Medicine and Physician Associate students about the future healthcare workforce and how universities such as ARU can be a solution to the challenges faced by the NHS. The Government is due to publish a workforce plan later this week ahead of the 75th birthday of the NHS in July.

Health Minister Will Quince said:

“It was great to visit Anglia Ruskin University today and meet medical, nursing and physician associate students who will be staffing our hospitals and primary care in years to come, as well as exploring some of its state-of-the-art training facilities – and touring the first undergraduate medical school in Essex. 
“This week, ahead of the NHS’ 75th birthday, NHS England will publish its historic NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, setting out how we will bolster the health workforce to put the NHS on a sustainable footing. This will ensure we can continue to meet patients’ needs now and far into the future.”

Professor Harrison said:

“It was a privilege to be able to welcome the Minister and Vicky Ford to our School of Medicine to discuss some of the key issues in healthcare education.

“ARU provides a significant number of staff to the region’s health and care workforce, and we know that we have a big role to play in developing that workforce in the future. We were very pleased to be given the opportunity to relay our experiences in delivering programmes and apprenticeships across the healthcare sector, and to show our state-of-the-art facilities at our School of Medicine here in Chelmsford.”

The 75th birthday of the NHS will be marked on 5 July with a number of events and initiatives including a new commemorative 50p coin, and prominent buildings across the UK lighting up in blue.