Supporting the training needs of all health care staff

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2013 Health Care Service Group Conference
14 December 2012

Conference notes with concern the many negative effects of the fragmentation of the NHS in England brought about by the NHS & Social Care Act 2012.

Two aspects which have had less attention than some are the impact on NHS workforce planning and on training for NHS staff.

Conference believes that if the NHS is to meet the demands of an ageing population, new treatments and patients’ reasonable expectations of information about and involvement in their care, all NHS staff will need ongoing good quality training.

Conference notes that Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs) have been set up at a regional level to manage the NHS’ training needs. We fear however that their agenda will be dominated by pre-registration training places for nurses and allied health professionals (AHPs) and by the training needs of medical staff in particular. Those at the top of the professional tree have always had many times more spent on their training and development than those lower down, and this looks set to get worse. The welcome support that was provided for experienced care support staff to train as nurses and AHPs under the last Labour Government is now a distant memory and even the number of places for pre-registration nurse training are being cut back.

Conference further notes that funding for training for adults over 24 to do NVQ 3 qualifications and above will from September 2013 be through ‘Advanced Learning Loans’ similar to the system for university students.

Conference believes that all levels of training in the NHS, from basic skills through NVQs, pre-registration training for nurses and AHPs and their post-registration training for specialist and advanced practice are important.

Conference resolves to:

1)ask all Regional Health Committees to engage with their regional LETBs and press there for the training needs of all NHS staff to be addressed;

2)call upon the Service Group Executive to monitor what funding (both per person and as a percentage of the total budget) is spent on (a) Band 1-4 staff (b) pre-registration training for nurses and AHPs (c) post-registration training for nurses and AHPs (d) training of managers and (e) post-graduate training of medical staff;

3)develop a policy for training in the NHS that can be raised with employers, LETBs and (though the Labour Link) shadow ministers.