A £10m investment in online training for NHS staff in Wales was announced today to mark the official launch of a new national body designed to improve workforce planning and development.
Health Education Improvement Wales (HEIW) brings together the Wales Deanery, the Wales Centre for Pharmacy Professional Education and NHS Wales’ Workforce, Education and Development Services.
“The launch shows the continued commitment in Wales to strengthening and supporting our workforce”
The hope is the new body, announced last summer, will provide a single approach to commissioning, planning and developing initial and ongoing education and training for nurses, doctors and other NHS workers in Wales. It will also be responsible for workforce planning and promoting NHS careers.
HEIW came into being in April this year and was officially launched today together with the announcement of new funding for the NHS Wales e-library, which provides learning materials for NHS staff.
Health secretary Vaughan Gething revealed an extra £10m would be invested in the e-library over three years.
He said HEIW was key to plans to transform health services in Wales and recruit much-needed staff, including nurses.
“We’ve set out our long-term plan to transform the health service, bringing services closer to home and moving from a reliance on hospitals,” he said.
“Having a strong and sustainable workforce is vital to driving this transformation, and is one of the key reasons we are launching HEIW today,” said Mr Gething.
“HEIW will bring a focus and energy to developing the health care workforce of the future”
He added: “HEIW will help nurture and grow the people and organisations that will deliver the next stage of development of our NHS and in turn will deliver better services for the people of Wales.”
He said the government was committed to “attracting more GPs, nurses and other health professionals to work in Wales”.
“The launch of HEIW shows the continued commitment in Wales to strengthening and supporting our workforce and sends a clear message that Wales is a great place for health professionals to train and work,” he said.
HEIW chair Dr Chris Jones said the body would work closely with a range of partners, including Social Care Wales.
“Supporting NHS Wales, and working closely with Social Care Wales, HEIW will bring a focus and energy to developing the health care workforce of the future,” said Dr Jones.
“It gives us an exciting opportunity to build our reputation in Wales for healthcare education, training, recruitment and retention,” he said.
He added: “We look forward to working with our NHS partners, the wider health organisations, and our education partners to improve care through service transformation; building a well trained workforce enabled to adapt to emerging technologies and excellence in care.”