Community consultation launched on vocational, professional skills and training centre

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People in Bolton are being urged to have their say on the proposed Bolton College of Medical Sciences (BCMS) based at the Royal Bolton Hospital as part of a community consultation.

Bolton College of Medical Sciences is a proposed state-of-the-art vocational and professional skills and training facility. It is a joint venture between the University of Bolton, Bolton College, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust and Bolton Council.

Understood to be the first of its kind in the UK, BCMS will give people a direct route into clinical and medical healthcare employment and provide unrivalled training opportunities for existing hospital staff to upskill and further their careers. When open, the facility is expected to bring £150m to the local economy.

Views are being sought on the economic and cultural impact of BCMS on Bolton’s diverse community, including how it will help the town to create and sustain rewarding careers in clinical and medical healthcare and result in an improved level of care.

BCMS will focus on learning within a healthcare culture, providing practical training within simulated hospital environments, and will have the capacity to teach 3,000 students a year, with around 1,000 apprentices in a range of health and social care roles.

BCMS aims to address the skills gaps in healthcare and help future-proof the NHS workforce in Greater Manchester by recruiting from across the North West. Its unique training and learning environment will make Bolton a leading destination for aspiring and practicing professionals in the field, all while improving and complementing the current healthcare and specialist provision on the Royal Bolton Hospital site.

Plans include the introduction of a wide range of new Continuous Professional Development (CPD) provision and world-class clinical health and care training for those who want to advance their careers. The learning environment will include cutting-edge technology, providing simulation suites, MRI scanning, radiology, surgical and acute care environments.

The community consultation starts on Wednesday 19 May and runs until Wednesday 2 June 2021.

Fill in the short questionnaire online at

The community engagement will support a final stage funding bid for the project.

Annette Walker, Director of Finance at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust commented,

“We’re looking forward working with our partners to bring this fantastic facility to Bolton. 

“Once open, the centre will help us train and develop both the future and our existing workforce right here on the Royal Bolton Hospital site, and will support us to continue providing high quality healthcare for all.

“We’re really keen to hear views from the community and encourage people to have their say.”

Dr Zubair Hanslot, Provost of the University of Bolton stated,

“As a proud Boltonian, I take personal pleasure in being involved in this extremely exciting project which has the potential to transform the fortunes of young people and bring further investment and prosperity to the area.

“BCMS will help to create and sustain rewarding careers in the clinical and medical health and social care sectors and provide a platform for further educational developments across the town. We really value the perspective of the wider community on the impact this facility could have, which is why we’re hosting this consultation”.

Professor John Lumley of Bolton University added, “Bolton College of Medical Sciences is vital as a platform for the University of Bolton as it seeks approval for an Undergraduate Medical School at the University of Bolton.”

Planning permission was granted in June 2019 for the designs which include a teaching and learning space, café, an associated staff and service space, and a dedicated multi-story car park. The new facilities will utilise the latest medical technology, with simulation suites and surgical and acute care environments. The 7,600sqm site is to be located at the Bolton NHS Trust hospital site in Farnworth. BCMS is expected to welcome its first intake in early 2023.


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