The Chief Executive of Health Education England, the body responsible for ensuring that the NHS workforce has the right numbers, skills, values and behaviours, has praised the work of the University of Worcester to educate the professionals of the future.
Professor Ian Cumming OBE was speaking during a visit to the University to see the scope of training on offer to those wanting to work in healthcare.
“Without universities such as Worcester, the NHS wouldn’t function,” he said. “Universities are fundamental to ensuring the supply of high quality healthcare professionals we need.”
Professor Cumming praised the innovation taking place at Worcester to introduce new courses, such as the Physician Associate Master’s and the Nursing Associate programme, as well as its commitment to inter-professional working.
“I’ve heard about the fantastic learning between Midwifery and Paramedic students,” he said. “This is really valuable and means that those students, when they qualify, know all about multi-professional working.”
Professor Cumming was shown the University’s clinical simulation suites, used for teaching Nursing, Midwifery, Paramedicine and Occupational Therapy, among other courses, as well as visiting The Hiveand the University of Worcester Arena.
“It was wonderful to see the partnership working that is behind The Hive,” he said. “We don’t want universities that work in isolation and this is a great example of a university working with other organisations for public good.”
The University of Worcester is recognised as one of the country’s leading educators of healthcare professionals and is currently working towards the creation of the Three Counties Medical School to serve the people of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
Professor Cumming said that in planning for the workforce of the next 10 years, the biggest shortage area would be Nursing: “We need 25% more nurses every year,” he said. “Working with universities which train such high quality nurses is critical. We also want to work together to make sure staff have the opportunities for rewarding careers, not just a job, so it’s key for us to work with universities to deliver training and professional development.”