September 21st, 2020
The University of Nottingham will be hosting a year of celebrations to mark 50 Years of Medicine and 30 Years of Nursing.
2020 marks not one but two anniversaries in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University, both 50 and 30 years of medicine and nursing. To mark these significant anniversaries, there will be a whole year’s worth of activities held throughout 2020 and 2021, culminating in a Gala Dinner on campus next spring.
To begin the celebrations, the University will be hosting an online launch event on Wednesday 23 September to celebrate the history of the two schools and to hear from inspiring staff, students and alumni.
The idea for a Medical School at Nottingham was first suggested after World War II. Healthcare in the East Midlands was badly under-resourced. But it was not until a grant was awarded in 1964 that the University was able to establish the first new Medical School in England in the 20th century. The School grew from humble beginnings in the cowsheds and caravan behind the Portland Building on University Park, where it was based before the QMC was opened in 1977.
Geoff Davies was one of the first cohort of 48 students who joined the Medical School when it opened in 1970. After graduating, Geoff joined the RAF, where he stayed for 22 years before becoming a GP and latterly setting up a private occupational health company.
Geoff said: “It was very special to be in the first year of the new Medical School and I think we all felt very proud of what was being built. The staff were exceptional and listened very carefully to our feedback, as much of the course had never been tried before.
“The key advice and lessons I took from my time at the University all began with the letter C, and I have used these words as guiding principles my entire career. They were – to be compassionate towards patients; to communicate – with patients, their families, and your own colleagues; to continuously review your practice – to look at what you so and how you can do things better; and to be confident in your own opinion. I’ve applied these principles to every aspect of my working life and they have always stood me in good stead.”
In 1990 The Department of Nursing Studies was established in the University, recruiting its first undergraduate students. The Mid-Trent College of Nursing and Midwifery (North and South Lincolnshire, Mansfield, Derby and Nottingham) merged with the University on 1 August 1995 creating a School of Nursing with some 2,000 students, also incorporating the Schools of Physiotherapy and Audiology.
Over the past 30 years the School of Nursing has evolved to become the School of Health Sciences which incorporates Nursing, Midwifery, Physiotherapy and Sports Rehabilitation.
The School of Nursing, always a leader in education, was one of the first adaptors of Project 2000 bringing a revolution in the way nurses are educated.
Both medical and nursing students from the University have stepped up to help the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Final year nursing students, who were all in the last six months of training, stepped up and were counted as official NHS staff during the crisis, and 260 final-year medical students were also graduated early, in order to support the NHS during a period of unprecedented pressure.
Professor John Atherton, Pro Vice Chancellor for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University, said: “During what has been an incredibly difficult time for people within the health profession, it gives me great pride to be able to mark the start of our year of celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the Medical School and 30 years of nursing education in Nottingham. Now, more than ever, we want to celebrate the dedication and commitment of our colleagues and students, and to mark these important anniversaries with a series of events stretching out across the next academic year. The launch event will be a great opportunity to hear from staff and students and past alumni, and to hear about the great work taking place across these two fantastic schools.”
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