More detail needed on training

GOVERNMENT plans to overhaul medical education and training are not detailed enough, according to a report by MPs.

The Commons Health Select Committee said the success of Health Education England (HEE) – which will oversee education and training from next April – is at risk because ministers have been “slow” in developing a plan detailing how the new organisation will operate.

The HEE will be in charge of the £5billion annual training budget that is handed out to local education and training boards. The select committee’s Education, Training and Workforce Planning report called on the Government to provide more details on how HEE will work.

The report states: “We welcome the plan to set up HEE as an executive body with overall responsibility for education, training and workforce planning across the whole workforce. However, we are concerned that the Government has been slow in developing a coherent plan for the new organisation.

"Greater clarity is particularly needed about how HEE plans to ensure that it develops a dynamic view of the changing education requirements of the whole health and care sector.

"We also welcome the Government's plan to create Local Education and Training Boards as provider-led bodies to take responsibility for education, training and workforce planning below the national level.

"We are concerned, however, at the Government's protracted failure to produce concrete plans in respect of the boards, which poses a significant risk to their successful establishment.

"It is unsatisfactory that so much about the boards still remains vague and indeterminate." The Royal College of Surgeons has welcomed the Committee’s report and backs their call for more detail. The College said it supports the Government’s plans to establish HEE and “the opportunity it offers to bring together all those involved in the planning, delivery and assurance of high quality education and training.”

But the RCS has called for Colleges and professional bodies to be directly involved in the HEE in order to maintain and enhance standards, adding: “Locally, postgraduate deans should link with the professions by working closely with the Colleges.”