'Cutting red tape' | NHS England to strip back L&D to improve medics' working lives

NHS England to strip back L&D to improve medics' working lives

The amount of time doctors have to spend on mandatory training will be cut back in a bid to improve the working lives of NHS England’s medical professionals.

First reported by The Guardian, the L&D shake-up comes amid concerns that doctors are snowed under with too many compulsory training modules, which includes workplace topics such as diversity & inclusion, fire safety, patient safeguarding and conflict resolution.

The Guardian reported that medics can be required to complete up to 33 of these training sessions per year, with courses ranging from 30 minutes to several hours in duration. But the time taken up by the training sessions is being looked into by bosses, who are considering whether having fewer modules will help improve the working lives of NHS pros who are already considerably overworked.

One idea under consideration, the Guardian says, is to allow employees to complete the 11 courses over a two year period, instead of annually, which would see them recoup half a day a year. They are also looking into the fact that junior doctors, who frequently move from site to site, currently may have to repeat the courses they have already completed, whenever they are relocated.

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Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS England’s national medical director, told the national newspaper: “While statutory and mandatory training provides NHS staff with core knowledge and skills that support safe and effective working, we know that needing to repeat the same training courses every year isn’t the best use of a clinician’s time. 

“So it’s right that we look to find ways to cut back on this, while still considering our legal obligations.

The professor went on: “Cutting red tape and ensuring this type of training is only carried out when necessary – for example, when junior doctors move between hospitals – will not only be better for our staff, who will spend less time worrying about training to adhere to legal requirements, but will also benefit patients by freeing up clinicians’ time for care and treatment.”

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