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Business & Economy

Programme lead announced for new School of Medicine

One of the region’s leading consultants in elderly medicine has taken up a key role in the University of Sunderland’s new school of medicine.

Dr Andy Davies who currently heads up the Falls and Syncope Service and is a consultant in elderly medicine at Sunderland Royal Hospital, has been appointed undergraduate programme lead by the University.

In this role, Dr Davies will lead on delivering the underpinning principles of the new school. Sunderland is one of only five new medical schools to be announced in the UK – established to address the regional imbalance of medical education places across England and to widen access to ensure the profession reflects the communities it serves. The University is collaborating with its health partners to address the chronic shortage of doctors in the North East.

Dr Davies has been involved in teaching and training since 1997 and is regional Foundation Programme Director with responsibility for doctors with differing needs across all the nine acute trusts in the North East and Cumbria.

He is an educational and clinical supervisor for foundation doctors and a local foundation tutor at City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.

He chairs the British Geriatric Society Cardiovascular Section and is responsible for the delivery of two annual, national conferences on the topic of cardiovascular disease in the elderly.

Professor Scott Wilkes, head of the School of Medicine, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Dr Andy Davies to the University of Sunderland. He brings a unique set of skills which will benefit the students enormously. Andy is a geriatrician at our neighbouring Sunderland Royal Hospital.

“Our focus in setting up the school has been upon the needs of the NHS which include the increasing elderly population with many medical problems, taking lots of medication and of course those very common problems we see in our society including high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.”

Dr Davies, whose own journey into medicine reflects the student doctors signing up to Sunderland’s programme, said: “I was inspired to join Sunderland as Scott Wilkes is leading the School of Medicine and has a very clear vision for Widening Participation.

“Encouraging students from a similar background to my own and giving them an opportunity to study medicine really inspired me, I want to ensure they get the best support throughout the process.

“Once the school is 500 strong, we hope to have people who have that determination to support the local economy and work here as GPs, hospitals doctors or psychiatrists.

“To invest in the local economy, be part of the fabric of the city – if that happens, it has the potential to add to the transformation of the city, both in terms of health and the local economy.”