Carers should train together

September 5, 1997

DOCTORS, nurses and other healthcare professionals should do some of their pre- and post-qualification training together to foster effective team working.

But the intention should not be to produce generic health care workers, according to the results of a consultation earlier this year on the professional development of healthcare workers.

A summary of the results of the consultation which included everyone from patients and doctors and nurses, to medical schools, higher education institutions, hospitals and professional bodies, is due to be circulated to contributors next week. The consultation, led by Howard Newby, vice chancellor of Southampton University, and Barbara Stocking, regional director of Anglia and Oxford region of the NHS, was triggered by the now defunct white paper, Service with Ambitions.

The summary, which will still be considered by the Government, says if the NHS wants to support learning effectively throughout a professional's career, there needs to be a fundamental cultural change: "Education needs to be given a greater emphasis within the NHS so that long-term investment on the workforce is not overlooked as a result of dealing with short-term crises."

The summary stresses that ongoing changes in the education of doctors, nurses and other health care workers, need evaluation, particularly of new curricula and innovative training. And the selection of health students should not be just academically driven, It calls for more research into selection methods so that students with the potential to make good practioners are recognised.

The consultation says there is a conflict between teaching and research, where medical trainers are expected to do both, while also maintaining practice. Most respondents said trainers should be given some formal training in teaching and that teaching of students must be carried out in a research-based environment.

Summaries of the consultation are available from 0113 254 5730.

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