Shock has been expressed about the lack of continuing professional development for nurses in some parts of the NHS by a leading member of the NHS Future Forum.
Registered nurse Julie Moore, who is leading the forum’s work on education and training, also described a “patchiness” in the quality of training received by student nurses.
Ms Moore, who is also chief executive of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, wrote the Future Forum’s first report on education and training in the spring, based on consultation carried out during a pause in the progress of the government’s Health and Social Care Bill.
She told Nursing Times that in the earlier consultation “nurses were telling me about how little continuing development they had had, and I was quite amazed – shocked, really… I met some people that in 30 years who had had nothing”.
The forum heard that some nurses in primary care were receiving no development, particularly in smaller organisations. However, the picture across the country was mixed, with some saying they received a lot of development and support from their employers.
Ms Moore added that there was a similar inconsistency in the quality of training on offer for student nurses. “Some employers were quite concerned about the quality of the education, whereas others were quite delighted with it, which is pointing to a patchiness throughout,” she said.
Prime minister David Cameron announced a second wave of listening exercises on 18 August, covering four broad categories: education and training; public health; information; and integrated care.
The body’s membership has expanded from 42 to 53. Among the new additions is Jane Cummings, chief nurse and deputy chief executive of the North West Strategic Health Authority.
The forum will continue to be chaired by Steve Field, who led the first listening exercise. Its second phase is due to be finished by November or December, but unlike its first set of reports, its next set of recommendations is not expected to lead to further changes to the Health and Social Care Bill.