SUNDERLAND University’s new School of Medicine has been given the official ‘green light’ after a team from the General Medical Council reviewed its preparations.

The visit from the GMC – the public body that maintains the official register of medical practitioners in the UK – comes as final plans are put in place ahead of September’s official opening.

The facility, the first of its kind in the city, was one of only five new medical schools to be announced in the country.

Others include a partnership between the Universities of Lincoln and Nottingham, the Universities of Kent and Canterbury Christchurch, Anglia Ruskin University and Edge Hill University.

They are being established to address the regional imbalance of medical education places across England and to widen access to ensure the profession reflects its communities.

Following a GMC visit last month Sunderland’s school is ready to welcome its first medical students in September.

Professor Scott Wilkes, head of school of medicine and professor of general practice and primary care at the university, said: “We are now in a multi-year GMC process to quality assure the development of our new medical school.

“It’s testament to the hard work put in by the entire medical school team that we received the following comments on areas that areas that are working well.

“I feel honoured to lead such a strong and capable team who are dedicated to our medical school including our staff from hospital trusts, GP practices and university services.

“We are not complacent and continue to focus upon the areas for development to ensure that we are among the best at delivering medical education and living up to our mission ‘to graduate socially responsible doctors who meet the needs of society and improve lives’.”