What the Peninsula Medical Foundation does
The Peninsula Medical Foundation (PMF) was founded in the 1999 to support Medical Research, Innovation and Education. These vital activities have been key to the thriving Specialist Hospital, its University Medical School and the excellent standard of healthcare available to patients in Devon and Cornwall.
The Importance of Excellent Research
Medical Research seeks to find the causes of deadly diseases such as Cancer, Parkinsons, Diabetes and Liver Failure. In so doing it opens up new possibilities for treatment. To provide but one example in Plymouth, samples of brain cancers are sent to the University research scientists in the laboratories. Here, they are analysed in minute detail. The results are then used to design individual treatment plans in a way that could only have been dreamed of even 10 years ago. It is brilliant and it works!
During training, Medical Schools encourage their brightest undergraduates to innovate and develop their research and teaching potential. In turn, these skills are associated with some of the finest clinicians and their teams. Access to excellent research facilities has become one of the most important factors in attracting top doctors, nurses, scientists and their students. It is why, all those years ago, farsighted leaders in Derriford Hospital and the then Polytechnic took the decision to found a medical school.
View some of the research teams working in Plymouth here.
Medical research does cost money.
The major advances in our understanding of disease are being made at the level of the genes and proteins which make up the cells of our bodies. Unravelling the fundamental mechanisms of ‘how we work’ and how they sometimes malfunction, is the aim of research teams here and elsewhere. From these results, amazing treatments such as gene therapy and COVID vaccinations have evolved. But, it requires expensive sophisticated machines and of course, skilled scientists to undertake the work itself. Plymouth has built a small but formidable number of teams who are now competing successfully for major national grants – a highly competitive national process. There is a great need to supplement these and it is the small grants, which the PMF can provide, that enable new programmes and bolster those already established.
Supporting Medical Students
Many of the Peninsula Medical School (PMS) graduates work in the South West and some are now consultants in local hospitals. The undergraduate medical course is 5-6 years in length and can be a big financial burden on some students and their hard pressed families in the Peninsula. Through the provision of bursaries, the PMS is doing much to widen access to medical training, and support those whose financial circumstances unexpectedly change during training.
We are raising money for the Peninsula Medical School. Just one important medical discovery can change millions of lives. Every contribution matters : lots of small sums add up to a large donation, especially if given regularly