In response to the publication of NHS England’s Long-Term Workforce Plan, the CEO of University Alliance Vanessa Wilson said:
“We are pleased and relieved that this plan has now been published. This will allow universities to commit to more long-term planning and expand their teaching offer. There are challenges that must be overcome to really scale up healthcare education, but we believe our universities have the solutions. We want to work as closely as possible with government and the NHS to deliver on this plan.”
On doubling medical school places
“We welcome the commitment to double medical school places. To achieve this, government should support universities to set up new medical schools as well as expanding existing facilities. The professional and technical universities represented by University Alliance have a strong track record of developing new and innovative simulation facilities to meet workforce demands. They stand ready to meet the need for new medical school places.”
On offering Healthcare degree apprenticeships
“High-quality, high-skilled education for healthcare professionals must be safeguarded at all costs. We know, for example, that patient outcomes are better and morbidity rates lower if nurses are educated to at least degree level.
Higher and degree apprenticeships are delivered by universities in partnership with the NHS and they are a high-quality option for upskilling the existing workforce, as well as bringing in new talent. However, there are challenges in delivering them because they are costly and highly bureaucratic.
If apprenticeships are to be one of the solutions to the NHS workforce crisis, the Government and NHS England will need to work closely with us to address these issues. We need to scale up both degree apprenticeships and full-time degrees to provide a range of options to those looking for a career in healthcare, whilst reducing the burden on the NHS.
Alliance universities like ours have solutions and we can help NHS England and the government to deliver the workforce of the future.”