Commenting on the UK Government’s proposals to expand undergraduate medical education in England, Professor Derek Bell, President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, said:

"While increasing the number of medical school places will assist with future workforce planning, it will not address the more immediate – and significant - challenges faced by the NHS and all those working within it.

“It is important that we begin to look at how we create a workforce with the capacity to meet the needs of the NHS both now and in the future.

"This College maintains that more positive measures need to be pursued to ensure that the NHS is an attractive environment in which to pursue a career. We are, therefore, pleased that the proposals to penalise those who consider leaving the NHS will not be introduced now but will be given further consideration by HEE. It is more important to achieve a change in culture where medical students and trainees feel a valued part of the NHS otherwise we risk alienating the future generation of doctors.”

Contact: Lisa Rooke - 07717 895628 /


  1. The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh aims to improve the quality of patient care. It represents over 12,000 Fellows and Members around the UK and worldwide, setting standards and influencing health policy. The College helps physicians and related specialties pursue their careers  through a world-renowned education and training programme.
  2. A recent article in the Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Valuing trainee doctors – the future of medicine explored factors negatively affecting the wellbeing and morale of trainee doctors in the UK, from time and workload pressures to a lack of physical resources such as rest and study areas.