Current provision of post-registration training for nurses is “unacceptable” and must be the subject of a national review, the government’s Future Forum has recommended.
The forum, which comprises about 40 representatives from healthcare professions, was tasked with drawing up a series of recommendations to improve the Health Bill, following widespread criticism that the concerns of clinicians about the legislation had not been adequately addressed.
Today it published a series of reports detailing 16 recommendations on amendments to the bill.
In its report on clinical advice and leadership, the forum said it had been told the NHS “has not taken continuing professional development (CPD) for its staff seriously”, despite a commitment to it in the NHS Constitution.
There was “huge variation” in support for CPD within and between organisations, and across the NHS as a whole, the report said.
It stated: “Supporting the development of staff in the NHS is essential if the service is to continually improve and meet new challenges. The variation in the current provision of continuing professional development (CPD) for NHS staff is unacceptable.”
While acknowledging that issues, such as funding and staffing cover, could make the provision of CPD complex, the report said it should be “prioritised and accessible” to all staff.
It stated: “We recommend that the National Quality Board reviews the provision of CPD across the NHS.”
A second forum report, looking specifically at education and training, added: “CPD needs to be regarded seriously, adequately resourced and prioritised and should be linked to staff appraisals.
“We heard of examples of where CPD was undertaken comprehensively but we also heard from staff who had received no professional development since qualifying.”
The government is due to publish its initial response to forum’s report tomorrow, which will set out an agreement between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats on future health policy.
A more detailed response is expected to be published next Monday.