The Government's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Liam Donaldson - a former member of the academic staff at the University of Leicester - is to see at first hand a pioneering medical project that has been praised in Parliament.
Professor Donaldson, who also obtained a higher degree at the University of Leicester, will be visiting Prince Philip House on Friday September 15 where he will meet with Leicester GP and University lecturer Dr Angela Lennox.
He will be introduced to the wide range of organisations associated with the health centre which has been described as a 'supersurgery' - providing a model for healthcare in the future.
Dr Lennox, Director of the Centre for Studies in Community Health Care at the University, has pioneered a programme of practical learning in which medical, nursing and social work students work together to learn from the everyday experiences of patients.
This work places students in the heart of communities in order to understand why some individuals and families have the worst health, and what must be done to reduce the disadvantage.
The CMO will be shown how the local workforce in the St Matthew's Estate is successfully working together resulting in significant falls in crime and improvements in the environment.
Dr Lennox said: The CMO will also see how the University of Leicester is working collaboratively with De Montfort University to ensure that medical and nursing students in this city are provided with joint learning experiences which will develop their team-work skills for their future careers in the NHS. The potential for expanding this approach to learning is enormous. The teaching programmes have been already been implemented in all 8 of our county's community hospitals and replicated in two additional city centre venues. This month, six new teaching centres will open in Coventry & Warwickshire as the Leicester Warwick Medical School comes into action.
Interest in the courses has emanated from as far as China, Sweden, South Africa, Australia and Kyrgyzstan. The University of Ghent, Belgium is incorporating the teaching model into its curriculum. Other health care professions have expressed a desire for their students to be included in our programs and Leicestershire Health Authority has adopted the principles of these programs for the City Health Action Zone.
Professor Donaldson, who was Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology in the University for four years, also was admissions tutor- helping to select the doctors of the future. He left in 1986 to take up the post of Regional Medical Officer in the North East of England.
He visited the University last year when he paid tribute to staff whose 'insight and help laid the foundation for my career.' He also returned to deliver the annual graduates' lecture.
NOTES FOR NEWS AND PICTURE DESKS
The Chief Medical Officer is visiting Prince Philip House, St Matthews estate, between 2pm - 4.15 pm, Friday 15th September. Photo opportunity at 2pm and interview time-tabled at 4.15 pm. For more information, contact Dr Angela Lennox on 0116 224 4668, email firstname.lastname@example.org (Prince Philip House, Malabar Road, Leicester LE1 2NZ).
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