Cost cutting threatens training posts

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Re-organisation to save money could see jobs axed

Various education and training posts across the UK could be cut as part of Health Education England’s second phase of savings re-organisation.

The £5 billion organisation, which is responsible for healthcare education and workforce planning, has confirmed plans to find £7 million worth of savings in a review of staff employed by it’s 13 local education and training boards. The proposed review will commence in October.

The HEE has already undergone drastic changes, re-organising roles by swapping senior posts for the creation of four new national directors, as part of plans to cut running costs by 20% (approximately £17 million) by next March.

Creating savings

Other ways the HEE plans to make savings include £4 million from stopping recurrent under spending; £3 million on non pay costs such as estates and procurement costs; as well as reducing back office running costs by £1 million.

An HEE spokeswoman told the HSJ “We are already identifying much of the required savings from restrictions on recruitment and the use of agency staff, reviewing current vacancies, reducing travel and accommodation costs, an estates review including leases on over 40 properties and better procurement. We need to improve the way we work and we cannot continue to have 14 different approaches to procurement, information governance or a host of other procedures. Staff recognise that we can’t work in the same way as we do now; with a 20% reduction in running costs it would not be fair or sustainable.”

Dame Jessica Corner, chair of the Council of Deans Health, said “We understand Health Education England needs to reduce costs and streamline some of the commissioning and back office functions. But I am worried some of the great local partnership working that we have worked hard to build over the last year between trusts, universities and LETB’s may be undermined in another re-organisation. There is a risk that the voice on education for nurses and allied health professionals will be diminished in the new structures.”

Ieuan Ellis, dean of health at Leeds Metropolitan University said “The timing and pace of the proposed changes appear premature and risk de-stabilising new LETB workforce planning and education commissioning structures and functions before these have become properly embedded or evaluated.”