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NHS training report demands urgency

Government plans to reform education, training and workforce planning in the NHS have been described as ‘complex, inflexible and unfair’ by the Commons Health Select Committee.

A new report by the committee claims that there is a lack of urgency in dealing with the problems and that current proposals risk staff confusion.

It has also been announced that new organisations Health Education England, Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs) and the Centre for Workforce Intelligence will take responsibility for the £5bn training budget from next April.

The committee is also calling for information about how the organisations will work together in the new system.

Compulsory regulation of healthcare assistants, a levy for paying training providers, an aim to avoid over-reliance on locum and agency staff, and more work to meet junior doctors’ training needs are amongst the recommendations.

“Current education and training arrangements are complex, inflexible and unfair,” says Committee chair and former health secretary Stephen Dorrell MP.

“This complexity makes it more difficult to change the way care is delivered and respond to the needs of patients; the NHS needs much more effective arrangements for planning and training its future workforce.

“We are concerned about this apparent lack of urgency and we believe that failure to address these issues quickly will lead to risk for patients and confusion for staff.”

However, David Worskett, director of the NHS Partners Network, raised concerns that a levy for paying training providers would be too complex and bureaucratic to operate and could create an unfair disadvantage for the independent sector.