This week I attended the NHS Providers annual conference, where the Health and Social Care Secretary, Steve Barclay, delivered a speech outlining his plans to focus on the areas that matter most to the patient experience and measures to make it as easy as possible for NHS and social care frontline staff to do their jobs. He set out his five key priorities, and the first of these was a focus on supporting the workforce.
Key to this priority is ensuring that the NHS in England has a sufficient and inclusive workforce with the knowledge, skills, values and behaviours to deliver compassionate high-quality health and care to the people it serves. And that is the purpose of the Workforce Training and Education (WT&E) Directorate we are creating within the new NHS England (NHSE).
As HEE moves into the new NHSE, we have the opportunity to integrate workforce and education planning with NHS service and financial planning and to streamline the national and regional landscape for system level bodies. My aim is that the new organisation and the NHS should also benefit from the strong relationships we have across the education sector, working together to deliver the workforce the NHS needs. Finally, the new NHSE and WT&E Directorate will continue to build on the work of HEE to ensure funding policy for education is transparent, consistent and enables the delivery for the NHS workforce, representing value for money.
In our 2021/22 stakeholder survey, you told us that you were concerned about HEE’s focus on education and training being carried forward strongly into the new NHSE and that our areas of expertise should be preserved. As the structure for the new organisation takes shape, and we prepare for the changes that will involve, I want to reassure you that we already have continuity of leadership. From 1 April 2023, when HEE transitions to the new NHSE, Sir David Behan will remain a non-executive director on NHSE’s Board and chair of its People and Remuneration Committee, and I will lead the directorate as Chief Workforce Training and Education Officer. With this consistency of leadership comes consistency of relationships - with you, our stakeholders.
It has always been important to me that HEE is an organisation which listens to its stakeholders and uses your insights to help us constantly improve what we do, and I will take this ethos into the new WT&E Directorate. Together we have worked hard to build and maintain collaborative and constructive relationships, with open and honest communication.
I have therefore been keen to ensure involvement of our stakeholders during the transition process. The work to design the new Directorate has been supported by insights from internal and external stakeholders, and there has been a robust process of engagement with our system partners to discuss ways of working and relationships. Many of you have helpfully engaged in conversations about how best to manage our relationships going forward and to explore themes of trust and empowerment, clear accountability and collaboration. Thank you for your willingness to input into this process; I am keen that we continue to work together to preserve our strong relationships as we move into the new organisation.
Dr Navina Evans
Health Education England
This Page was last updated on: 18 November 2022