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New framework for training across the NHS


The NHS is undertaking a major reorganisation of training which is aimed at all of its staff, and is intended to improve communication at every level and ultimately to produce significant improvements in patient care. "Working together, Learning Together - a framework for lifelong learning in the NHS" sets out the processes and main aims. In addition to informal work-based training, the NHS spends £2.5 billion on training every year, and this plan seeks to consolidate the investment to institute a learning culture, alongside other forms of modernisation which are devolving responsbility to lower levels, and to ensure that all staff are able to make the most of available technology.

The framework includes plans to work with education providers to improve flexibility and accessibility, enabling all staff to make use of a range of lifelong learning opportunities. It will involve stakeholders in NHS and Primary Care Trusts and other NHS organisations, Workforce Development Confederations, regulatory and professional bodies, trades unions and education and training providers.

Among the principle targets, the organisation seeks to establish the NHS University by 2003. They have already established NHS Individual Learning Accounts (unaffected by the closure of the national ILA programme, and in fact in addition to that when it was still running). These allow all staff to fund continuing professional development.

The framework follows the Audit Commission's report Hidden Talents, which made recommendations for improvements in NHS workforce development and in the training of healthcare students.


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