Garfield Weston Foundation donates £500k to new Kent and Medway Medical School

A £500,000 gift from the Garfield Weston Foundation will support the construction of the new Kent and Medway Medical School (KMMS), a collaboration between the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University.

To acknowledge this generous gift the GP Simulation Suite, housed in the new KMMS building on the University of Kent’s Canterbury campus, will be named the Weston GP Simulation Suite.

KMMS will open in September 2020.

Established in 1958, the Garfield Weston Foundation is a family-founded charitable grant-making trust which now gives away approximately £80 million a year to charities across the UK. Since it was established it has donated over £1 billion, of which over half has been given away in the past ten years alone. In the most recent financial year the Foundation gave away over £79 million to over 2,100 charities across the UK.

Professor Karen Cox, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Kent, said: ‘We would like to thank the Garfield Weston Foundation for their very generous donation and support of the Kent and Medway Medical School. Their donation will help us provide a world-class facility for our students; one that will ensure they receive the best possible training for their careers in the medical profession.’

Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation said: ‘Our Trustees are delighted to support the Kent and Medway Medical School in establishing a much-needed new Medical School for the region. The Weston GP Simulation Suite will provide general practice simulation training where trainees will learn, practise and improve their clinical skills during their five-year BM BS programme.’

Professor Chris Holland, Dean of the Kent and Medway Medical School, added: ‘The Weston GP Simulation Suite will contain two GP consulting rooms and a reception area. This will allow our students to learn the expert consultation and communication skills used in General Practice in a safe and simulated environment before going into clinical practice. The suite will also be available for post-graduate trainees in General Practice to further their post-graduate training and qualifications. We are extremely grateful to the Garfield Weston Foundation for helping make this possible.’

When complete, KMMS will be the first medical school in Kent and Medway, providing a centre in the region for medical education and research to develop the area’s health workforce, and address the growing need for medical professionals in the area due to rapid housing and population growth.

KMMS will offer first-class medical education and research, combining the existing high-quality clinical teaching and research strengths of the two universities. From 2020, it will offer a five-year Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (BM BS) degree with medical placements in Primary, Community, Mental Health and Secondary Care settings across Kent and Medway. Based at the universities’ Canterbury campuses, Kent and Medway‘s first medical school aims to be first choice for all those aspiring to achieve excellence in person-centred medical care in the UK.