NHS Future Forum - How training needs to change

The NHS Future Forum is advocating change in education and training, writes Julie Moore.

Julie Moore: 21st century care (Photograph: NHS Future Forum)
Julie Moore: 21st century care (Photograph: NHS Future Forum)

In this second phase of the NHS Future Forum, the education and training workstream is listening to a range of professional groups from the acute sector and primary care.

Training needs to change. In particular, there is concern that doctors are made to specialise early in their careers and this leads to inflexibility. We have heard concerns from people that this can tie doctors into long careers in one specialism. This presents certain risks, such as not allowing people to retrain to work with new therapies or treatments, as well as expecting doctors to continue working in high-pressure jobs such as urgent care or intensive care for their entire career.

Generalist role
In hospital medicine, we have heard a lot about the role of the generalist being lost in the rush to specialise. We are told the generalist role is increasingly important as patients live longer, with many people having more than one long-term condition. This role will therefore become more critical in the future.

In primary care, we have heard concerns that GP training is too short and we might not be preparing doctors adequately for the significant shift of care into the community that will need to happen in the new system. It has also been voiced that GPs do not receive enough training in some important areas, such as mental health, yet often see many patients with mental health needs.

So how do we give our professionals the skills they need for the future? We know that medical advances such as gene therapy have the potential to transform care pathways for patients, but what does that mean for the clinical staff who need to work in these areas?

Standards and quality
We are listening to concerns about the standards, quality and location of training. For example, how do we ensure our healthcare facilities are good places to train? How are we monitoring the standard of training and its frequency? How easy is it to adjust training to meet advances in patient care?

Continuing professional education is another question on people's minds. So far, this has been a concern voiced most often in primary care, where people can feel more isolated. We have heard anecdotal evidence of nurses working in frontline care who have had no extra training in many years. It has also been raised by allied health professionals, who say there is significant variation across the country in how they access development opportunities and support.

These are challenging questions. At the same time, we have heard about advances in education and training that mean doctors have a more rounded education than ever, and with this comes a better understanding of the skills needed for care in the 21st century and the way we in the NHS can deliver them.

  • Julie Moore, chief executive of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), leads the education and training workstream of the NHS Future Forum.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

£20 notes spread out

VAT trap for PCNs could strip millions of pounds from general practice

Tens of millions of pounds could be stripped from general practice because work carried...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Is the BMA representing GPs effectively, why GPs face a pension tax hit, and views on the workload crisis

In our regular news review the team discusses representation of GPs, a new survey...

Man sleeping

NICE guidance on insomnia backs app to replace sleeping pills

Hundreds of thousands of people with insomnia could be offered treatment via a mobile...

Health worker prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine

JCVI backs autumn COVID-19 booster campaign for high-risk adults and NHS staff

Frontline health and social care staff and adults at increased risk of severe illness...

GP consultation

Government accused of 'misleading' claims on general practice workforce

GP leaders have accused the government of making misleading claims about the general...

Consulting room door

LMC calls for enhanced access to be scrapped after abuse forces practice to close reception

A Midlands LMC has backed a practice forced to close its reception desk after abuse...