Following on from NHS Digital’s merger with NHS England in February, Health Education England has also now been absorbed as the plans to centralise the health service’s digital, data and workforce expertise into one single organisation culminate.
With the health service employing around 1.3 million staff, NHS England will now assume the responsibility for the education and training of the healthcare workforce, ensuring each and every member has the requisite skills and values to deliver world-class services throughout the country.
The merger was formally confirmed last week with the changes anticipated to shrink the new organisation by 30-40% by the end of 2023/24, compared to the current size of the three aforementioned organisations.
NHS England say the structural alterations will make the health service more agile in the face of changing demand and strengthen collaboration with integrated care systems.
Amanda Pritchard, NHS England’s Chief Executive, said the move represents a “major milestone” and the incoming colleagues from Health Education England will bring “a wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise” that will be “invaluable” to the NHS’s goals of improving and refining healthcare for all.
Health Education England’s former Chief Executive and NHS England’s new Chief Workforce, Training and Education Officer, Dr Navina Evans, commented: “A united approach to improving service, embedding new technology and ensuring the workforce has the skills and numbers to deliver improvements is a huge opportunity for the NHS, one we intend to take together.”
Health Minister, Will Quince, added: “Alongside the forthcoming long-term workforce plan to support and grow the workforce, this merger will help build a stronger NHS with patients at the centre.”