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There is a future beyond COVID-19 and we have to be ready for it

23 October 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Supporting the COVID-19 surge response with the same commitment, cooperation, problem solving and flexibility as last time, whilst protecting trainees, the graduate pipeline, primary care and mental health will be a real challenge to us all as leaders of the health and care system over the coming months.

We all need to protect education and training in order to avoid serious consequences for the future workforce. Last years’ final year students joined the workforce early, and current final years need to catch up to allow graduation into the workforce next year. Our doctors and dentists in training have already lost some of their specialty training, further disruption will fracture the pipeline for middle grade doctors and Consultants for the NHS.

Whilst we will continue our core focus to protect and maintain education and training, our Regional HEE Directors, Deans, Heads of Nursing and Workforce Planners will be key partners in meeting local need flexibly. Local and regional demand scenarios will allow us to work together to respond with appropriate interventions against transparent trigger points as the pandemic spreads at different speeds.

Throughout the pandemic the importance of patient safety and our duty of care to students and trainees have continued to be our priority. The ongoing impact of COVID-19 on our people has meant that we haven’t stopped ‘quality’ but we have had to do things differently.

Rapid learning from the COVID-19 outbreak and the role of quality in responding to the challenges presented has created a timely and important opportunity to ensure that lessons learned are incorporated in new approaches to how we manage quality, with a focus on wellbeing, flexibility, supervision and equality and diversity.

Over the coming months we will be refreshing our Quality Strategy and Framework to reflect the transformation of the multi-professional clinical learning environment ensuring the health and care system provides learners and trainees with access to high quality education and training, for the coming five years.

This is particularly important given the developing strategic priorities in relation to expansion of clinical placements, the education reform agenda and system changes, such as the establishment of Integrated Care Systems and Training Hubs too.

We are keen that colleagues including professional and system regulators; higher education institutes; training providers, professional bodies, learners’ and patient representatives attend one of three stakeholder workshops we are hosting:

  • Friday 13th November from 12-2pm
  • Monday 16th November 1-3 pm
  • Tuesday 17th November 1-3pm

To register for one of the events, please follow this link: HEE Quality Refresh - Engagement Sessions

If you would like any further information about the Quality Strategy 2016-20 or the supporting Framework documents, please do visit our website https://www.hee.nhs.uk/our-work/quality.

There is a future beyond COVID-19, and we have to be ready for it!

Best Wishes


Posted by Dr Navina Evans

This Page was last updated on: 23 October 2020