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Single body should commission health professional training claims review

The Health Professional Education Investment Review says a single body should be created to commission education and training

A single body should be created to commission the training and education of all health professionals in Wales, a major review states.

The Welsh Government-commissioned Health Professional Education Investment Review says that recruiting enough nurses is a ‘major headache’ for health boards and is likely to remain so in the short to medium term.

The review, commissioned by the minister for health and social services Mark Drakeford in August 2014, concludes: ‘Workforce planning has been, at best, sub-optimal’.

A complex patchwork of commissioning undertaken by multiple agencies should be replaced by a single body, the review recommends.

The report also recommends that there should be less emphasis on hospital-based training and more on community setting, as well as more opportunities for co-professional education and training.

Funding the ongoing training and development of staff must become ‘part of the DNA of NHS Wales and a system of continuous improvement has to be established as a matter of priority,’ it concludes.

Lead review author and former chair of Powys Teaching Health board Mel Evans said: ‘The role of the single body would be to ensure a co-ordinated strategic approach.’

Professor Drakeford said: ‘The report proposed some fundamental changes and I want to take the views of others into account before making any decisions on the way forward. I encourage all those with an interest to feed in their views.’

The Welsh NHS employs 72,000 full-time equivalent staff, making it the country’s biggest employer. More than £350 million is spent on education and training 15,000 healthcare students annually.

Views on the report can be submitted until March 25.

To read the Health Professional Education Investment Review report click here

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