The Academy welcomes the Health Committee’s report on education, training and workforce planning. Indeed many of the conclusions closely reflect our thinking and concerns.
The increased attention on education, training and workforce planning shown through “Developing the Healthcare Workforce” and in the establishment of HEE is very welcome. What is now needed is for all the good theory to be translated into good practice.
Whilst there is now more progress with the development of HEE and LETBs we share the Committee's concerns about the timetable. April 2013 is not that distant and we are still a very long way from having a functional system.
We particularly welcome the Committee’s clear statement that Post-Graduate Medical Deans should “continue to exist to provide an independent professional voice” as the Academy has urged. We would hope that this question is now settled. We will, however, closely monitor the development of LETBs to ensure that Deans are in practice able to provide independent comment and assessment of the quality of local postgraduate education and training.
We share the Committee's anxieties about workforce planning and also have had concerns about CfWI capacity to deliver all that its stakeholders require. There needs to be clarity, as the Committee states, over CfWI’s place in the new system . We believe the best solution would be for CfWI to be accountable to HEE.
We support the Committee’s view that there should be no return to a system of “over-tired and under-trained doctors”. However we have to ensure that in meeting working time directive requirements service delivery pressures do not squeeze out the time for proper high quality training.
The Academy also supports the Committee’s other conclusions on changing medical specialism, overseas educated staff, locum staff and the tariff and levy.