HOPES that Bradford could be home to a new medical school have today been dashed after the Department of Health passed the city over in a new national push to train more doctors.

The University of Bradford had hoped that it would be chosen as one of the sites of a new medical school after the government announced it was hoping to train an extra 1,500 doctors each year.

Last year the University told the Telegraph & Argus that it was “ready, willing and able” to open a new medical school in the city to help train the next generation of doctors.

Despite the University having numerous health courses and departments, from an acclaimed nursing midwifery course to the Institute for Cancer Therapeutics, there is currently no place in Bradford where students can train to become doctors.

Currently West Yorkshire has just one medical school, in Leeds.

The University's plan had the backing of local MPs and Bradford Council.

However, today Jeremy Hunt, Health and Social Care Secretary, announced that Bradford was not on the list of chosen cities for new medical centres.

Instead, Sunderland, Lancashire, Canterbury, Lincoln and Chelmsford were chosen.

The new medical schools will begin training student doctors from September.

Mr Hunt said: "These schools are being set up in parts of the country where it can be hard to recruit and attract new doctors - but will benefit doctors everywhere as we start to eliminate the rota gaps that add so much pressure to their work."

A spokesman for the University said: "The University is disappointed to announce that its bid for Government funding to establish a medical school has been unsuccessful. The Bradford bid was innovative, distinctive and strong with a focus on a firm commitment to widening participation, and a community-centred approach to medical education and experience.

"The University would like to acknowledge the exceptional support received in developing its bid, particularly from Bradford Metropolitan District Council, local NHS Trusts, GP partners, voluntary sector partners and local parliamentarians.

"The University remains confident in the strength and uniqueness of its offer and the principles that underpinned it. We will consider what options are available to pursue our ambition to develop a Bradford School of Medicine in the near future.

"The University of Bradford will continue to focus on delivering high quality teaching programmes including nursing, pharmacy and physician associates, and our Foundation in Clinical Science/Medicine programme.

"We will also continue to undertake outstanding, internationally-significant research in advanced healthcare, developing new models of health care delivery, health promotion and technology-enabled treatment."

Bradford West MP Naz Shah said: "I am angry that the Government seems to have failed to understand the true impact of the bid.

"Bradford University had put together an exceptionally strong case for Bradford which would have made a transformational difference to healthcare in the city.

"Bradford University’s proposals were consistent with the newly launched Bradford Economic Development Plan and our need to ‘grow our own’ talent. To keep talented young people in the city and to improve health outcomes we need a strong and vibrant economy. I am furious about the short-sighted nature of this decision. 

"I will continue to support the University in its efforts to bring a Medical School to the city."

Bradford Council's leader Coun Susan Hinchcliffe said: "We are hugely disappointed that the Government has not chosen Bradford or anywhere in Yorkshire, this time for a new medical school.

"With a fast growing population, the district will need additional health professionals in the future.

"I know the University has put a huge amount of work into the bidding process and I’ll be seeking to understand what the feedback is from the bid and what other opportunities there might be to bid again in the future.”