Work starts on Essex’s first School of Medicine

Published: 19 May 2017 at 10:00

Staff members, including Vice Chancellor, Iain Martin, holding a shovel with turf on it.

NHS chief executive cuts turf to mark start of building at Anglia Ruskin University

Work is underway on Essex’s first undergraduate School of Medicine, which will train the county’s doctors of the future.

Clare Panniker, Chief Executive of Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, attended a ceremony at Anglia Ruskin University to cut the first piece of turf to mark the beginning of construction.

The £20million building on Anglia Ruskin’s Chelmsford campus will feature state-of-the-art skills facilities, specialist teaching space, lecture theatre, and an anatomy suite. It is hoped that at least 50% of the students studying at the new facility will be from the East of England.

The national workforce Minimum Data Set for General Practice shows Essex is suffering medical workforce shortages across primary care, mental health and acute care. 

The Mid and South Essex area has the highest percentage of GPs aged over 54 in the country, and the second highest patients-per-GP ratio in the country.

Professor Iain Martin, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University, said: 

“Today is a very significant step towards us helping address the urgent need for more doctors and healthcare professionals in the UK, and specifically in Essex. 

“We have worked closely with a broad range of partners across the region in planning for the School of Medicine and, whilst there is still much to do, we are now one step closer to our goal.” 

Clare Panniker said: 

“This is a very exciting time to be involved in the development of a medical school with Anglia Ruskin and I am delighted we can play a part in securing the future of health provision across Essex.

“We look forward to offering a number of clinical placements across our hospitals in mid and south Essex and know students will receive a very warm welcome.”

The work will be carried out by Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd, who will be keeping local residents informed of progress with a regular newsletter. Planning permission for the School of Medicine was granted by Chelmsford City Council earlier this year. 

The new School of Medicine is on track for approval of the medical education programme by the General Medical Council and is waiting on the Government’s allocation of the additional public funded places for medical students.

Any enquiries about the School of Medicine should be directed to