Cumbria Crack

New home for pioneering mountain medicine diploma

High-flying health professionals will soon be given the opportunity to climb to the very top thanks to a pioneering medical programme which has been unveiled at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

The Diploma in Mountain Medicine, a programme previously run by the Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care within the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd), is to transfer to UCLan’s National Centre for Remote and Rural Medicine (NCRRM) based at the University’s Westlakes campus in West Cumbria.

The course is a practical qualification for doctors and members of the allied medical professions operating in a mountain context or advising patients who will be in a mountain environment. Providing a combination of distance learning plus four, week-long, residential blocks of teaching in Wales, Scotland and the Swiss Alps, the programme concentrates on developing knowledge and skills in the mountain environment.

The relocation of the programme represents a significant opportunity for the course to be based in an environment dedicated to the development of this specialised area of medicine. The University is currently validating an extension to the programme offering students the opportunity to progress to Masters.

UCLan’s Professor Stuart Maitland-Knibb, Director of NCRRM, said: “The University is actively increasing its portfolio of medical programmes to offer students greater choice and opportunities.  By taking on the new ownership of this course we will offer students the full range of academic services and resources available, which will enhance their journey through the diploma programme.

“The course is a great fit for us. A key aim of NCRRM is to deliver medical education programmes that increase the numbers of students and doctors in remote areas, potentially improving recruitment and retention of medical professionals in the rural environment.”

Professor David Lockey, Chair, Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care within RCSEd, added: “This represents a significant step forward for the Diploma in Mountain Medicine and will provide students with dedicated resources designed to enhance the student experience and opportunities for future career paths. We would like to thank the Mountain Medicine Faculty for their support whilst the programme has been with us and know that the University of Central Lancashire staff are well equipped to take this programme into the future.”

The academic content and placement elements of the course will remain the same with existing students seamlessly transferring to the UCLan-validated programme while new applicants could be enrolling as early as September 2021.

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