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Written Statement - Health Professional Education Investment Review – Next Steps

Mark Drakeford, Minister for Health and Social Services

Last year, the Health Professional Education Investment (HPEI) panel, which was led by Mel Evans OBE, concluded its review of the investment the Welsh Government makes in healthcare professional education and whether it is delivering the right results for Wales and our health service.

The review made a number of recommendations, which I have accepted. However, further work must be carried out into the final recommendation – the creation of a single body for workforce planning, development and commissioning of education and training.

In a written statement published in November, I was clear about the need for change, underpinned by a single flexible, funding stream freed from arbitrary and historical boundaries. Any new arrangements must ensure investment and planning decisions about education and training are based on the needs of patients and local populations and a holistic approach to the workforce.

In taking this work forward we need to ensure that the solution, while drawing from existing models elsewhere, is right for Wales.
Professor Robin Williams CBE, FRS, former vice chancellor of Swansea University, has agreed to take the work forward to scope the new model, including its costs and benefits. 

Robin has a wide range of experience, which includes participation in the oversight of the implementation of Sêr Cymru, a £50m programme of investment in the Welsh research base and as chair of the planning board to produce an independent report on a model for the Coleg Ffederal – now Y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol. He was awarded the CBE in 2004 for his contribution to research and to higher education and now chairs the Science Advisory Council for Wales. Robin has served on Ministerial advisory groups for economic development and education in Wales and was a member of the group established to review higher education.

Robin will be supported by a small project team within the Welsh Government and will have access to a small group of individuals with specialist knowledge in aspects of the NHS workforce, the delivery and design of education and training programmes and curriculum and regulation.

Professor Donna Mead OBE, vice chair of Cwm Taf University Health Board, Dr Alun Rees, the inaugural vice president for Wales of the Royal College of Physicians and Professor Ceri Phillips, head of the College of Human and Health Sciences at Swansea University have agreed to act as expert advisors to Robin as this work progresses.

As I confirmed in my last statement the views of the wider stakeholder population will be considered and mechanisms put in place to ensure progress is communicated and contributions sought where appropriate.