Keele forms new combined School of Medicine

Keele University has combined two schools within the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences to form a new large single School of Medicine.

The newly-formed school combines the current School of Medicine and the School of Primary, Community and Social Care, bringing together their strong reputations for education, research excellence and student satisfaction.

During the pandemic the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences has played a vital role in Keele’s effort to tackle Covid-19 with 115 newly-qualified medics and 295 nursing and midwifery students joining the front line. The faculty also contributed to the 98,900 items of PPE Keele donated to the local NHS, facilitated 3,500 diagnostic tests for local key workers to support a national diagnostic testing trial and made 1,100 litres of hand sanitiser on campus and donated it to hospitals.

The faculty has also engaged in pioneering research to help the national and international effort to tackle the impacts of the virus. Keele has developed a number of novel studies including rapid anti-viral therapeutic screening approaches, novel cell-based assays, prognosis, treatment, and impacts for inflammatory arthritis and mental health sufferers, as well as evaluating the impact of lockdown restrictions on social and professional lives. This work highlights the University’s important role as a key partner organisation in national COVID-19 vaccination studies, and in determining the role of health literacy in national pandemic responses.

The new School of Medicine brings together major global research programmes and will continue to work in partnership with the NHS to help improve health care, recruitment and retention of health professionals within the local area offering undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in medicine, social work, public health, physician associate, counselling and psychotherapy, with a new course planned in paramedic science starting in 2021.

Professor Christian Mallen, a local GP and NIHR Research Professor in General Practice, has been appointed as the new Head of the School of Medicine. He is Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Faculty of Public Health and was named the inaugural Society for Academic Primary Care Investigator of the Year.

Professor Mallen is the only GP to have received three consecutive research fellowships from Versus Arthritis and is the only recipient of the prestigious Yvonne Carter and the John Fry Awards. Professor Mallen has published more than 250 research papers and contributed to international clinical guidelines in the areas of gout, polymyalgia rheumatica and osteoarthritis.

Professor Mallen said: “I’m delighted to be joining the newly formed school and bringing together international leading research programmes in musculoskeletal disorders, mental health, cardiology and global health with cutting edge professional educational programmes. The new School of Medicine is truly innovative, promoting multi-professional working and supporting students to gain the expertise needed to work in the rapidly changing health and care sector.”

Professor Pauline Walsh, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, said: “I would like to congratulate Christian on his new role and I look forward to seeing the new School of Medicine coming together and the many positive benefits this will bring for Keele and also for the health and social care sector.”

Professor Mark Ormerod, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, said: “This is a really exciting development for Keele University, bringing together our world-leading research in Primary Care and global health and musculoskeletal research and our nationally leading medical school, into a single School of Medicine, which I know will go from strength to strength under Christian Mallen’s leadership.”