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Special Bulletin:
Health and
Social Care Bill

and Developing the Healthcare Workforce

Dear Colleague,

We continue to press for key amendments to the Bill:

  • to ensure that all providers have responsibility for education and training;
  • to ensure that the Secretary of State retains responsibility for an integrated health service; and
  • to enable Fellows and members to continue to contribute to healthcare in wider ways such as through bodies like NICE.

The reports published yesterday show that some headway has been made. These reports come from the NHS Future Forum and the response from the Government, together with the Department of Health’s new policy framework for education, training and workforce planning, Liberating the NHS: Developing the Healthcare Workforce - From Design to Delivery.

The RCR has consistently expressed its views on the draft legislation starting with the White Papers, through the Forum and the Health Select Committee Inquiry into education, training and workforce (M+F login required) and across medicine on the Bill itself. All colleges remain of the view that the Bill needs significant amendment. Unity of purpose among the colleges is essential if our voice is to be heard effectively in what has been and remains a vigorous and at times fractious debate.

This College’s role is to champion patient care, standards, quality and integration of healthcare whatever structures are in place and to support Fellows and members in achieving that. We remain committed to seeing those principles embedded in the legislation and working effectively with whatever structures emerge from this period of change.

We will digest the report on Developing the Healthcare Workforce, but for now we welcome the commitment that the new body - Health Education England (HEE) - will work closely with the colleges. The current body - Medical Education England - is working with the GMC to establish an independent review of the shape of medical education and training. This offers an opportunity to restate the value of the work that the colleges do. We are concerned about the local delivery of education and the loss of the defined roles of deaneries. We will work with HEE to ensure that standards are maintained and comprehensive training is available throughout the country. Whilst these developments are centred on England, the College’s focus remains UK wide with the aim that equitable and effective postgraduate education and training is provided in all four UK countries.


Dr Jane Barrett

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