24. May 2012 14:34
Crossbench MPs have criticised the Government’s plans to reform the handling of the £5 billion NHS training budget.
The Health Select Committee welcome the principles around education, training and workforce planning but insist greater clarity is needed if the new arrangements are to be successful.
Stephen Dorrell, Committee chair, said that current arrangements are “complex, inflexible and unfair” and the NHS needs “much more effective arrangements for planning and training”.
The Committee backed the Government’s plan to create Health Education England alongside Local Education and Training Boards, and supported the remit given to the Centre for Workforce Intelligence.
But it said the Government “urgently needs to provide more clear and detailed information” on how these organisations will operate and work together in the future.
In its Education, Training and Workforce Planning report, the Committee advises that new arrangements for voluntary registration of healthcare assistants should be made compulsory.
More must also be done, the report said, to reconcile reduced hours for junior doctors; the NHS must ensure its training programme meets its own staffing needs; and workforce planning should avoid relying on locum or agency staff.
Finally, the report concludes, more detail is needed about how postgraduate medical deaneries fit into the new system under the Health and Social Care Act.
“A much greater sense of urgency is needed if service disruption is to be avoided and these good intentions realised,” said Stephen Dorrell.