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Staff development vital to realise planned health service reforms

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Training and developing the current workforce is vital to realise the future goals of the NHS, a leading nurse academic has warned.

If the health service is to reform by the middle of the next decade, providing more treatment closer to patients’ homes and focusing more on disease prevention, then adequate training opportunities for the existing workforce are vital, Sue Bernhauser, vice chairperson of the Council of Deans for Health, said at a conference last week.

‘If we don’t invest in existing staff then these recommendations are not going to be realised,’ she told delegates.

Also speaking at the conference, Janice Sigsworth, deputy chief nursing officer for England, said that she was optimistic that some central funding would accompany the Modernising Nursing Careers programme when it was introduced.

‘Time for training will be funded,’ she said. ‘I am optimistic that we will get funding for post-registration career pathways.’

But she cautioned that it was unlikely that funding would be sufficient to cover the full cost of post-graduate training for everyone.

Speaking on regulation for HCAs, Ms Sigsworth said that the future remained uncertain ‘There is much work to be done before a working model for HCA regulation can be agreed, she said. A pilot scheme in Scotland is ongoing.

NT is currently campaigning for nurse training funds and time to be protected. Click here to find out more.

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