London Medicine

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Managing uncertainty in a changing health economy


    The issue

    With the proposed reforms of the NHS beginning to take place it is important to be thinking about what new relationships will need to be developed, and how old relationships will need to change, to ensure an excellent and appropriate healthcare workforce.

    Panel discussion

    The Healthcare Education Group recently held a panel discussion to consider this issue. The panel considered the following questions:

    • How are relationships changing and developing between higher education institutions (HEIs) and the NHS, as well as with the new agents being introduced to the sector in light of the reforms?
    • How do we ensure the objectives of all parties are aligned to ensure an excellent and appropriate workforce?
    • What will be the challenges, risks and opportunities?
    • How can HEIs manage these challenges?

    The panel was comprised of three speakers providing different perspectives:

    • HEI perspective – Professor Julius Weinberg, Vice Chancellor, Kingston University London;
    • Commissioner perspective – Rob Smith, Deputy Director of People and Organisational Directorate, NHS London and;
    • Systems analysis perspectiveProfessor Woody Caan, Professorial Fellow at the Royal Society for Public Health and a Visiting Professor at Bucks New University.

    You can read the summary of the panel discussion by clicking the document below.

    Summary note of panel discussion - Managing uncertainty in a changing health economy

    Policy points

    In light of those views shared at the Healthcare Education Group’s panel discussion four policy points for higher education institutions can be made:

    1. The health business represents a significant part of the portfolio and income of HEIs. Vice Chancellors should be increasingly aware of the risks posed by new market developments and seek to influence employers of the benefits and value of delivering health care education in universities.
    2. HEIs need to demonstrate that they can be quick to innovate and respond to employer requirements.
    3. HEIs need to recognise the new pluralism in health care and seek to engage with the “new” employers as well as established ones in London to shape the agenda for education and research in London.
    4. HEIs should influence the agenda with employers to shape new partnerships in London that value shared ownership and risk on the education for workforce development.