Picture by Jim Wileman

Health and Social Care Secretary Victoria Atkins visited the Medical School after the government allocated the school 10 more places in a bid to bridge the gap in medical education access.

She met with medical students and staff, toured the state-of-the-art facilities, and experienced the school’s electronic patient simulators, mock NHS wards, and emergency departments.

Professor Richard Holland, Dean of the University of Exeter Medical School, said: “We’re delighted to showcase our exceptional teaching and research facilities alongside our dynamic plans for expanding our St Luke’s campus into the future, to ensure our education and research in medicine, healthcare and related subjects remains state-of-the-art. This exciting expansion of medical students is much needed across the South West and the NHS. We’re working with our NHS partners to continue to deliver even more of the high-quality, research-led education for which we’re internationally renowned.”

The extra places are part of wider government funding to try and address uneven distribution and support under-doctored areas across the country. This week, the government announced 350 extra medical school places nationwide for the academic year 2025/26, including 44 in the South West region and 10 at the University of Exeter.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Victoria Atkins, said: “It is a privilege to visit Exeter Medical School and speak to the next generation of world-class doctors who will be trained to deliver the highest-quality care. The new places we’ve allocated will boost the South West NHS workforce and benefit patients across the region. We’re delivering on the targets set out in the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, which will double the number of medical school places.”