Universities UK, the vice-chancellors' umbrella body, today responded to the workforce planning service level agreement announcement by the Department of Health and the Department for Education and Skills.
Professor Janet Finch, chair of Universities UK's Health and Social Care Policy Committee (HSCPC), said: "The longer-term strategic thinking that the service level agreement promotes is a welcome start, but we feel that it is not sufficiently robust in its monitoring and sanctions. Universities will need further reassurance that the workforce planning system has been stabilised after what has been a very uncertain time.
"Universities are willing to work in partnership with the health service to support improved workforce planning and education.
"The impact of cuts in education and training budgets might not be immediately apparent, but is likely to lead to a serious shortage of key professionals in the health service a few years down the line."