University of Leicester announces £10 million appeal for state-of-the-art medical building

Posted by ap507 at May 23, 2014 10:00 AM |
New Centre for Medicine set to transform medical teaching, research and, ultimately, patient care

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 23 May 2014

Contact pressoffice@le.ac.uk to request images

The University of Leicester is encouraging everyone to play a part in transforming healthcare and medical education across the region with the launch of its £10 million fundraising campaign for a new Centre for Medicine.

The Centre for Medicine Appeal, which was launched last night (Thursday 22 May) at a fundraising ball in the city, will support the largest investment in medical teaching and applied research by a UK university in the last decade. The ambitious plans for the Centre are expected to significantly transform the experiences of patients across the region and reshape medical education.

Construction has already begun on the new £42 million cutting-edge facility, due to open in autumn 2015 on Lancaster Road, and more than £1.5m million has already been raised towards the target.

Vice-Chancellor and donor, Professor Sir Robert Burgess said: “Our vision is to create a world class institute which will bring together academics and researchers with medical students to support collaboration through greatly expanded flexible teaching and research space.

“Its launch will see the transformation of the medical curriculum delivered by Leicester Medical School and provide a national template for patient-centred teaching. The aim is to develop caring and highly capable doctors who are ready for the challenges of diagnosing and treating complex conditions and who will radically improve patient safety.”

The new Centre for Medicine will be home to the departments of Medical and Social Care Education, Health Sciences and Psychology and will include a range of facilities including teaching and seminar rooms, laboratory research facilities and informal learning support and meeting spaces.

It will act as the central hub, bringing together, for the first time in one place, the University’s leading academics, researchers, clinicians and students, currently spread across multiple sites in the city. Together they will combat the major chronic diseases, harness cutting-edge technologies to transform the medical curriculum and ultimately improve patient safety and care.

Steve O’Connor, Director of Development added: “At Leicester, we are in a fantastic position to transform the training of tomorrow’s doctors, revolutionise patient care and fight chronic diseases. As the only place outside the M25  to combine three Bio-medical Research Units, six research centres, three hospitals and a top ten medical school – we have access to an unparalleled research and health infrastructure.

“We are extremely pleased at the level of interest generated by this visionary project and very grateful to those major donors, Trusts and Foundations who have already shown their commitment. We hope many others will follow their inspirational philanthropic lead.”

The £10 million appeal will enable the University, which has committed £32 million to the project, to complete the building and equip the six-storey Centre. It will also build on recent philanthropic success at the University, which in the past 12 months has secured the University’s largest ever single gift of £7 million from the John and Lucille van Geest Foundation for the University’s life-changing Cardiovascular Research Centre and was awarded Outstanding University Fundraising Initiative at the 2013 Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards (THELMAs).

Local businessman, heart attack survivor and supporter, Prakash Bhojani said: “I owe my life to the research and expertise of doctors and staff trained at Leicester – without them, their skill and care; I simply wouldn’t be here today.”

The public appeal was launched at the University’s Heartbeat Ball on Thursday 22 May at Athena, Leicester. More than 300 guests from communities across the city and county attended the glittering evening which included a gala dinner, entertainment from Flambé Circus and a fundraising auction. Guests showed their generous support for the appeal and raised more than £70,000 on the night.

ENDS

Notes to Newsdesk

For more information, please contact Steve O’Connor via 0116 252 2466 or sjo18@le.ac.uk

University of Leicester Press Office Contacts:

Ellen Rudge

News and Events Officer

Tel: 0116 229 7467

Email: er134@le.ac.uk

Peter Thorley

Corporate News Officer

Tel: 0116 252 2415

Email: pt91@le.ac.uk

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