Health and Social Care Bill

Memorandum submitted by the Council of Deans of Health (HSR 34)

Further to the publication of the Government’s response to the NHS Future Forum report, I am writing to the committee in relation to amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill that are being considered at present.

The Council of Deans of Health is a membership organisation representing the voice of the deans and heads of UK University faculties for nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions. Our mission is to promote and enhance the quality of nursing, midwifery and allied health professional education and research in collaboration with other key partners, through our representative role as the principal source in higher education of informed opinion and advice.

The Government Response to the NHS Future Forum on 20 June stated that ‘we will introduce an explicit duty for the Secretary of State to maintain a system for professional education and training as part of the comprehensive health service’. The Council of Deans of Health strongly welcomes this commitment which highlights the responsibility of the Secretary of State to ensure that the system of education and training remains in place.

Subsequent to this publication, a set of Government amendments were tabled on 23 June in order to incorporate the new commitments made by the Government in its response to the recommendations of the Future Forum. However within these amendments, there is no amendment relating to the new duty regarding education and training.

We would emphasise the importance of the new duty being part of the final legislation. It is unclear if this will be bought forward at a later stage of the Bill’s progress through both Houses, but we wanted to draw this to the attention of the Public Bill Committee as they consider other amendments.

In relation to other amendments within the Bill we also welcome the amendments relating to both the S of S and the NHS Commissioning Board having a duty to promote research and hope that the Bill committee will support these.

July 2011

Prepared 19th July 2011