Devon

Peninsula medical school split plans going ahead for 2013

Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry
Image caption The plans would see a medical and dentistry school in Plymouth and a medical school in Exeter

Plans to separate a medical school in Devon are going ahead.

Plymouth and Exeter universities announced at the beginning of the year the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (PCMD) would be split.

The decision sparked widespread criticism, which included concerns about the viability of two separate schools so near to each other.

If approved, there will be a medical school in Exeter and a medical and dental school in Plymouth from 2013.

The universities said the PCMD, which opened in 2000, had been a success, but had "outgrown the partnership".

Splitting it in two would "bring new opportunities and possibilities", they added.

Before the deal can be signed off completely, the changes will have to be approved by the NHS, the General Medical Council (GMC), General Dental Council (GDC) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

When the plan was announced, the Devon Local Medical Committee said dismantling the college would be a "disaster".

Plymouth City Council also criticised the plan, but its request to put it on hold until a public consultation could be held was declined.

PCMD said the proposals were proceeding "as planned" and it expected a demerger agreement would be signed soon.

The college currently has places for 200 medical and 64 dentistry students.

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