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New education and training bodies to face financial squeeze

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The new bodies due to oversee the local education and training of nurses will have a third less to spend on running costs than the organisations they are taking over from, Nursing Times has learnt.

Local Education Training Boards will take over responsibility for planning and overseeing the education and training of the NHS workforce from strategic health authorities in April 2013.

Nationally the Department of Health spends £4.87bn a year on its training budget for health professionals. Running costs for SHAs to perform their education and training function are estimated to be slightly less that 3% of this, equivalent to around £132m.

Although the total money spent on education and training is expected to be maintained, the DH has told Health Education England – the new national body that LETBs will report to – that running costs must be reduced by a third from 2010-11 levels. As a result, Nursing Times has calculated that LETBs will have around £44m less in total than SHAs.

Council of Deans of Health chair Leuan Ellis said: “Although efficiency savings in running costs were expected, the scale of these reductions give LETBs a challenging task ahead in delivering their core functions of delivering an improved system for local workforce planning and commissioning of education and training.”

He added: “As appointments are made to the new LETBs, it will be critical to ensure that people who hold the organisational memory of how to plan health education for the future NHS workforce are not lost from the system.”

A DH spokesman said: “We are keen to reduce the costs of bureaucracy across the NHS.”

“Health Education England will be responsible for leading national education, training and workforce planning to make sure we have an NHS workforce that can respond to the needs of patients and the entire population.

“The Local Education and Training Boards will work with HEE, clinicians and educators to provide this at a local level for their local communities.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Pirate and Parrot

    Unless I've read that wrongly, this is another 'we are cutting out administrative waste but not the front-line' claim - similar to 'less money on the NHS, but just as many clinicians helping patients as before', or 'less mone yon the Armed Forces, but no significant reduction in operational capacity'.

    Those things hardly ever turn out to be proven true, when the evidence is evaluated in the future, after the event.

    Less money spent on something ,ver often equals less of it - less money for training, will probably end up meaning less effective training: claims that 'cleverer training' will fill the gap, invoke some scepticism in me, anyway

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