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How we work

We employ nearly 2,000 people in a variety of leadership, education and support roles, most of whom are based in local teams across England.


In 2013 we took over functions of Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) and their Deaneries for workforce planning, education commissioning and education provision. It is the first time that responsibility for all of these functions are within the same body, and by doing so, we aim to improve both national consistency and standards and local leadership and decisions. We recruit doctors and dentists into training and we fund and support the training of a range of multi-professional staff and apprentices. We are responsible for the NHS Constitution and embedding the NHS Values into everyday activity in the NHS. We continuously deliver a number of projects, which you can read more about in the our work section.

Nationally we are led by our Chair, Sir Keith Pearson JP DL and our Chief Executive, Professor Ian Cumming OBE.

We operate a single system of dispersed leadership, working together to deliver both local and nationwide success. To achieve this we are proud to also work with:

  • the providers of NHS services who are ultimately responsible for employing, maintaining and developing their staff and the quality of care they provide.
  • other organisations such as commissioners, local authorities and higher education providers.

We also have a role on the national stage working with the Department of Health (DH) and other health Arms-Length Bodies (ALBs) and Non-Departmental Public Bodies, some of which include:

  • NHS England (NHSE)
  • Trust Development Authority (TDA)
  • Monitor
  • Care Quality Commission (CQC)
  • Public Health England (PHE)

Together HEE and the above five organisations have developed the NHS Five Year Forward View. The purpose of the Five Year Forward View is to articulate why change is needed, what that change might look like and how we can achieve it together.

Read the framework agreement which describes the important elements of the working relationship between the DH and HEE. Four supporting documents can also be found in the related documents section below.

Our objectives for 2015/16

HEE’s strategic objectives are aligned to areas of workforce planning, health education, training and development. Our objectives are delivered to us by Government in the form of the HEE Mandate.

The objectives for 2015/16 have been divided into three categories. A summary is below, but you can read more about this in the HEE Business Plan 2015/16.

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