Medicine in the capital

What does tertiary education do for London? Not a lot, says one report. In another of our series of regional focuses, THES reporters look for a sense of community within the M25 area.

The past few years have seen the amalgamation of medical schools towards just five undergraduate and two independent postgraduate institutions. The 1992 Tomlinson report identified a need to merge institutions where top-rate general scientific research was being undertaken with medical schools, where the basic science base was often more limited.

* The Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine and University College (which merged with the Middlesex Medical School in 1987) have set a preliminary date of August 1998 for their amalgamation.

* University College has also incorporated a number of postgraduate institutions including the Institute of Ophthalmology (August 1995), the Institute of Child Health (August 1996) and proposes the incorporation of the Institute of Neurology this August. The Eastman Dental Institute is currently affiliated to University College, though no merger date has been set.

* St Bartholomew's and the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary and Westfield College was formed during summer 1995.

* UMDS, Guy's and St Thomas's Medical and Dental School, which already includes the Royal Dental School and the Institute of Dermatology, are to merge with King's College School of Medicine and Dentistry between August 1997 and August 1998. A bill has been lodged with Parliament and proposed new buildings are subject to Private Finance Initiative funding.

* St George's is the only London medical school resisting merger, though there has been talk of increasing its links with Kingston University.

* Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine gained its medical school at St Mary's through merger in 1988 and has since also amalgamated with the National Heart and Lung Institute (1995). A bill going through Parliament should see Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School and the Royal Postgraduate Medical School join Imperial this August.

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine remains a separate postgraduate college, as does the Institute of Cancer Research.

* The RCN Institute.

* Institute of Zoology

* Royal Veterinary College

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