RCP president Professor Andrew Goddard welcomed today's announcement that NHS Improvement (NHSI) and Health Education England (HEE) will be working more closely together in future, and that NHSI will create a new ‘people directorate’.
Discussing the announcement, Professor Goddard said:
This move takes us a step closer to the clear accountability for NHS workforce planning that is missing from the Health and Social Care Act. A cohesive approach to ‘recruiting, retaining, deploying and developing the current NHS workforce’ is well overdue.
Whoever is ultimately responsible, they must have the resources and authority to set the long term strategic direction and deliver effective progress in key areas especially around budgets and smaller hospitals. Education and training budgets must be sufficient and used as intended, not to prop up under-resourced services. Smaller hospitals must not lose out to the large teaching hospitals and in particular trainees must be incentivised to work in areas that are particularly struggling to meet demand.
The experience of postgraduate medical deans will be vital to the success of any model of training. The knowledge and experience of all current staff will need to be considered in the plans for the seven integrated regional teams.