Select Committee on Science and Technology Written Evidence


Memorandum from Dr Katie Petty-Saphon, Council of Heads of Medical Schools

  The Council of Heads of Medical Schools is the authoritative voice of the 31 Medical Schools in the United Kingdom.

  We asked the Deans of all the Schools the following three questions:

  1.  Do you support the Task Force's vision for a renewed NIMR with a focus on translational research?

  2.  Do you agree that this vision would be best realised by co-location with a major academic and clinical centre?

  3.  Should this site be in central London—Kings and UCL have been suggested as possibilities? If not, where would you suggest?

  The answer to the first question was a resounding yes, as it was to the second—with the belief that it should be a large teaching hospital, with the widest possible range of sub-specialties and a large patient base.

  It was further suggested that to optimise the national nature of the NHS the NIMR does not in fact need to be co-located with one single centre—but a "virtual" NIMR might see existing productive groups relocate to join their London-hospital-based colleagues whilst other groups centred on regional centres of excellence say, for example linking existing Mill Hill work on infectious diseases with centres in Oxford and Edinburgh and centring translational research in clinical immunology in Birmingham and Cambridge.

  Whilst colleagues in London clearly support the idea of a central London location, it could not be said that such a move received support from outside the capital.

17 November 2004

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