Education for Health welcome government response to NHS Future Forum report 'Liberating the NHS Developing the Healthcare Workforce From Design to Delivery'

18 January 2012

As part of its on-going NHS consultation, the government commissioned the NHS Future Forum, an independent body of health experts, to report on education and training, information and public health. Earlier this week the government accepted the Future Forum's recommendations.

The Future Forum’s recommendations include:

  • The establishing of local Health and Wellbeing Boards which can drive local integration and address local concerns
  •  New local education and training boards which embed continuing professional development and a review of the Tooke report into medical education
  •  An new emphasis on making ‘every contact count’ – this will be become a core staff responsibility in the NHS

The full report can be found here.

Monica Fletcher, Education for Health’s Chief Executive, said today of the report;

 “For us as a health education charity the recommendation of the Future Forum are hugely exciting and reflect many of the beliefs we have held for many years. Two points in particular represent, to us, a considerable step forward.

We are pleased that the government have accepted the recommendation for healthcare professionals to develop a renewed emphasis on making ‘every contact count’. Although there is some resistance to the idea of healthcare professionals intervening and discussing people’s lifestyle choices, we can no longer deny the fact that individual lifestyles are increasingly coming to define the public health agenda. There has been an long term trend towards conditions related to over, as opposed to under, consumption in the UK and we need to be speaking to patients about their lifestyle choices. This can save lives and money and must be a core facet of any attempt to drive down hospital admissions and improve community health. For some years now one of our modules – Improving Health - has explored this very issue and the feedback we have had from healthcare professionals has been very encouraging – we welcome the rolling out of this principle nationwide.

Secondly, we welcome the government’s acceptance of the centrality of high quality education and training to healthcare strategies. There is a growing body of research, and an increasing recognition, that investing in robust staff development and training has a hugely beneficial impact on public health. Our own experiences again have shown us time and time again how locally focussed and responsive education can meet the ever changing needs of both healthcare professionals and patients. We look forward to working with the new local education and training boards and to sharing our experiences with them as they move forward and give high quality education and training the central position it deserves in the healthcare agenda.”

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