[A] surgeon at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust (NCUH) has been awarded an Honorary Clinical Professor with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) as lead for the new joint NCUH/UCLan Academic Surgical Unit.
Professor Ruben Canelo has been instrumental in the creation of the ASU in order to strengthen surgical clinical excellence at NCUH by providing research, training and education within the Trust as a joint venture with UCLan. Professor Canelo is the clinical director for general surgery and director of education for Surgery in the Trust and works across the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.
As one of only seven in the country, the ASU can bring a wealth of benefits including improving the quality of patient care and promoting surgical staff recruitment and retention – both of which are key priorities for the Trust.
Professor Canelo, who joined the Trust in 2014, said: “The Academic Surgical Unit is a way of transforming a clinical department into an academic institution. We can now offer better training and academic career opportunities combining clinical work with academia and research, which we hope will in turn attract more staff to work in our hospitals.
“I am delighted by the joining of the Trust and UCLan to produce the ASU as one academic institution for further development of academic activity in the North and I would like to thank UCLan for my Professorship.
My vision for the future of the ASU is to have an active partnership in academic research using the ASU as a platform for providing better patient care through further developing academic skills.
“We are working to provide training for undergraduate students as well as postgraduate, foundation doctors, registrars and associate specialists. We are also holding GP training days and will be using facilities both on our hospital sites and in the UCLan facilities in West Cumbria. I am so pleased to be able to bring the ASU to Cumbria.”
Professor Cathy Jackson, head of the Medical School at UCLan, said: “We are delighted to have been able to work with Professor Canelo and the Trust in the development of the joint UCLan/NCUH Academic Surgical Unit. This represents a further commitment of UCLan to medical training and recruitment in Cumbria and the next step in the increasing activity of UCLan in the area. The ASU builds on our increasing provision for undergraduate and postgraduate medical training in the area in addition to medical research and compliments our activities at the West Cumberland Medical Education Centre in Whitehaven.”