'What's happening in Sunderland is more interesting than Boris Johnson row,' says Michael Gove on visit to city

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove has praised Sunderland’s ‘incredibly impressive’ medical teaching facilities on a visit to the city.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove’s tour of the University of Sunderland.
Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove’s tour of the University of Sunderland.

Mr Gove was given a tour of the University of Sunderland’s multimillion-pound new Anatomy Centre, and also visited its state-of-the art nursing and paramedics facilities in Helen McCardle House.

The visit came just days after Mr Gove unveiled long-promised plans to close the gap between rich and poor parts of the country.

Hide Ad

The levelling up strategy will take until 2030 and aims to improve services such as education, broadband and transport.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove’s tour of the University of Sunderland.
Hide Ad

And Mr Gove’s visit comes as Boris Johnson and his Government continue to take heavy flak over Downing Street parties following the publishing of the Sue Gray report.

Speaking to reporters during the Sunderland, Mr Gove said: “I believe that the best thing for the country is for the Prime Minister to continue. I think he is doing a great job.

Hide Ad
Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove’s tour of the University of Sunderland.

“Ultimately what happens in Westminster will interest those who are watchers of politics. But what really matters in a week’s or in a month’s or in a year’s time is are we bringing investment, jobs, and a brighter future for the people of Sunderland?

Hide Ad

“That’s what I’m here to do in partnership with all the political parties in Sunderland.”

During his visit to the University of Sunderland, Mr Gove, who is the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, took time to speak with Professor Debs Patten, Professor of Anatomy at the university’s School of Medicine, who demonstrated some of the facilities available to medical students.

Hide Ad

The School of Medicine opened in 2018 to help improve access to medicine for students from non-traditional backgrounds.

Hide Ad

Professor Scott Wilkes, Head of School of Medicine and Professor of General Practice and Primary Care at Sunderland, said: “We were pleased to welcome Michael Gove to the University’s School of medicine and his recognition of the work we are doing to make medicine accessible to students from non-traditional backgrounds.

“The Government’s levelling up strategy is welcome, and we look forward to receiving that continued support.”

Hide Ad

Mr Gove then moved on to Helen McArdle House where he toured the simulation hospital wards, created for nursing students.

Sue Brent, Head of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, said: “We are delighted to see Michael Gove visiting the University and taking the opportunity to meet with our staff and students.

Hide Ad

“The team here at University of Sunderland are delivering excellent teaching in excellent facilities. Our staff are passionate about developing and delivering healthcare programmes which not only meet a challenging workforce need but support individuals within the local community into employment.

“The University of Sunderland regionally is rising to the challenge through developing innovative new provision across all fields of nursing and health sciences programmes working with partners to grow and retain their own workforce. With the aim of helping the NHS save millions of pounds by tackling nursing and healthcare staff shortages in the region.

Hide Ad

“The levelling up agenda is an interesting development and we welcome further information as it comes forward.”

Support your Echo and become a subscriber today.

Hide Ad

Enjoy unlimited access to all of our news and sport, see fewer ads, experience faster load times, test your brain with daily puzzles and get access to exclusive newsletters.

Your support for our journalism means we can continue telling Sunderland’s stories for generations to come. Click here to subscribe - and click here to get a snapshot of the Echo’s news and sport to your inbox through our email newsletters.