NHS college would bring opportunities for all staff

HR professionals in the health service have welcomed Labour’s plan to create
an NHS university to improve the training and skills of all health workers.

Health Secretary Alan Milburn outlined Labour’s proposals to create a
university of the NHS, which would allow nurses to train to become doctors and
porters to develop into managers.

It would involve a partnership between the NHS, existing universities and
the private sector.

Milburn said, "Every nurse, every doctor, every therapist and every
cleaner should be bound only by the limits of their abilities.

"When it is fully established, after 2003, we envisage the NHS
university being used by 100,000 NHS staff. It will provide a core education
curriculum for all NHS staff through face-to-face teaching and
e-learning."

Mike Griffin, HR director at King’s College Hospital NHS Trust, said,
"There is a big need for developments like this if the service is to
achieve the targets it has set itself.

"In order to bring in the necessary staff to deliver the NHS plan,
there has to be an innovative approach to the development and training of
healthcare staff.

"The service has traditionally not had a lot of access to
distance-learning facilities. Accelerated development of distance learning
across a wide range of skills and professions would be very much welcomed in
the service."

John Adsett, secretary of the Association of Healthcare Human Resource
Managers, thinks the university would bring consistency to the way training and
development is provided in the NHS.

By Ben Willmott

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