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Trusts to be held to account for nurse training funds


Trusts and other NHS providers will be held much more heavily to account for their investment in the training of nurses and other health professionals, the government has announced.

The government said education and training funds should be “protected” and organisations will be “held to account for using it for the education and training of the NHS workforce”.

Today’s announcement was included in the government’s full response to a report published last week by the NHS Future Forum – a group of 40 clinicians set up to advise on changes to the controversial health reforms. It follows an initial, short response to the forum released last week.

The forum had raised concerns over the government’s plans to change education and training funding, as well as highlighting the current “unacceptable” variability in standards of continuing professional development for nurses and other staff.

The government response document says a national education and training outcomes framework will be created, setting out expectations on trust and other NHS providers.  

The government will “also emphasise the importance of the right investment in education and training to ensure we can develop the right values, behaviours and team-working to provide person-centred care,” the response states.

Responsibilities for training will be passed from strategic health authorities to trusts in a more phased way than previously set out by the government.

For example, the document says providers’ “local skills networks” – now referred to as “provider-led partnerships” – will have to demonstrate their capabilities through a “rigorous authorisation process”.

The document confirms that the new system of training will not be fully functional until 2013, the new extended date for the abolition of SHAs announced last week in the government’s initial response to the forum.

SHAs will support the development of provider-led partnerships alongside Health Education England – the body being established to oversee the new system. However, HEE will develop and administer the authorisation process.

The Department of Health has previously proposed that HEE would be set up in shadow form in 2011, before launching in April 2012. Today’s document says the government will “ensure that HEE is in place quickly”, although no further timings are provided.

Further details will be published in the autumn.


Readers' comments (5)

  • Good. Hope this is not just words and translates into direct action, legal if necessary, if trusts do not hold up to their end of the CPD bargain.

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  • this article raises important issues which hopefully will rapidly address the inconsistencies in nurse training and CPD as well as involvement of the trusts. This will force the latter to take greater responsibility for their nursing teams and their professional and employment needs. However, the government appear to be giving with one hand and taking with the other whilst still failing to provide adequate professional staffing to ensure safety and quality of care for the patients, adequate conditions of employment and adequate and appropriate management and administrative practices to support the professions.

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  • May be too late. They appear to be saying the right things but nurse education posts are being cut by trusts who are "reconfiguring".

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  • Frequently at our trust we are told there is a "freeze" on training courses and study leave to save money, this happens at least once a year and usually lasts 2 - 3 months.

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  • NHS library & information services are under threat - these are too often seen as soft targets by the bureaucrats. So any commitment to funding education and training needs to include commitment to a proper funding of the appropriate learning resources and information support and knowledge base for the whole organisation.

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