The Welsh Government’s response to the Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) review of non-medical healthcare education in Wales was issued in October 2011, a number of the original recommendations required further work to be undertaken by the National Leadership and Innovation Agency for Healthcare (NLIAH). That work has now been concluded and a range of steps will now be taken to strengthen and secure high quality education to ensure sustainability within the NHS workforce in Wales. These include
- a single provider for nurse education in North Wales which will ensure teaching provision and local recruitment continues from both Wrexham and Bangor locations.
- a single provider for occupational therapy services in North Wales. The report recommended consideration should be given to one provider for the whole of Wales, however, while the economic assessment supported this proposal, there are very strong benefits to maintaining strong Welsh Language provision in North Wales and providing wide access to education and recruitment from local populations. This is not just about the economics it is also about local people being able to train and work in a familiar environment which recognises the different cultural aspects within Wales.
- all cardiac Physiology courses funded through the non medical education budget to be provided from Swansea University in the future where there is already a wide range of associated clinical physiology provision.
- single provider of Operating Department Practitioners education
In taking all of the decisions it has been important to ensure that resources are maximised, that student experiences remain of a high quality and that the safety of patients is the primary focus and is no reflection on the quality of the current provision.
It is also important to recognise that not everyone learns at the same pace or wants to take decisions about their futures at the same point in their lives. In addition education provided must ensure flexibility to cope with individual circumstances as far as is possible.
These steps demonstrate the Welsh Government’s commitment and support to students in the pursuit of careers in one of the most valuable services in Wales and will ensure that their experiences align with the practices and culture within the Health Boards in Wales.