11 Mar 2015
The university think-tank million+ has published ‘A Manifesto for Health Education’ (11 March). It calls on all political parties to recognise the role of universities in health and social care education and says that the next government will have to significantly increase investment in education, professional development and research in order to improve patient care and integrate health and social care services. The manifesto also points out that the NHS and Social Care Act has led to greater fragmentation in the delivery of health education in England and that Trusts are increasing their use of agency staff and recruiting overseas to address staff shortages.
Supported by a wide range of health organisations, A Manifesto for Health Education is being launched in the House of Commons on 11 March at an event hosted by Andrew George, Liberal-Democrat MP for St. Ives and a member of the Health Select Committee. Other speakers include Joanna Brown, Chief Executive of the College of Podiatry, Helga Pile, Unison National Officer for Social Care, Dr George Holmes Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bolton and Andrew Gwynne MP, a member of Labour’s Shadow Health team.
The manifesto calls on the next government to:
• increase the education and professional development budget for clinical, non-clinical and social care staff
• support the commissioning of additional undergraduate places and post-registration training for nurses, midwives and other health professions
• require all health and social care providers to offer high quality placements and mentoring for students on clinical practice
• promote collaboration between universities, health and social care providers and fund the development of new courses to support the integration of services
• invest in clinical practice academic career pathways, joint appointments and secondments between health and social care organisations and universities
• fund health and social care research to promote innovation and disseminate best practice.
Pam Tatlow, Chief Executive of the university think-tank million+ said:
“The undergraduate and postgraduate courses and career-long staff development programmes that universities offer, are crucial to the delivery of the NHS’s Five Year Forward View in England. The next government must significantly increase investment in professional education and practice-based research otherwise the pre-election promises that are being made by all political parties to improve patient care and integrate services, will remain little more than pipe-dreams.”
Dr George Holmes Vice-Chancellor of Bolton University said:
“The manifesto sets out a road map which includes the need for Trusts and other providers to offer high quality placements and mentoring to students on clinical practice. Resources are also urgently required to enable universities to undertake research and develop the collaborative programmes that are key to innovation, improved practice and the integration of care. It would be unwise to ignore this issue going forward.”
Joanna Brown Chief Executive of the College of Podiatry said:
“ It is imperative that all involved in the delivery of health care are adequately trained and employed to meet those needs. The drivers of an ageing population, increasing levels of diabetes and the economic benefits derived from preventing rather than curing can only serve to underscore the key messages of the manifesto to which the College of Podiatry gives its full support.”
Richard Brown Chief Executive of the Society of Radiographers said:
“The NHS is recognised as one of the most cost-efficient in the world. This is largely due to the very high professionalism and commitment of the clinical and non-clinical staff. The pre and post graduate education of these employees is similarly world-class and results in levels of integration and multi-disciplinary working that contribute directly to the efficiency and high quality care upon which we all rely. It is vital that resources for health education careers across the spectrum are increased to meet the health care and public health demands of the population.”
Christina McAnea, National Secretary of Health for Unison said:
“Unison believes improved funding is vital. We must ensure that universities can produce the highly skilled practitioners we need to meet the challenges of delivering health and social care fit for the 21st century.”
Sue Kellie, Deputy Chief Executive of the British Dietetic Association (BDA) said:
“This manifesto for Health Education should be warmly welcomed as it sets out the clear and necessary steps needed to ensure the future health and social care workforce gets the appropriate education and training which, ultimately, benefits patient safety and the wider health of the nation.”
Notes to Editors