National Debate for Healthcare Training

Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry (PU PSMD) has taken a national lead on the debate around how the healthcare professionals of the future are trained.

A round table debate, initiated by PU PSMD and held at Westminster, was the focus of the HSJ report. Taking part in the round table were some of the UK’s leading health policy experts, thought leaders, local politicians and representatives from PU PSMD.

The debate covered several areas, including: training healthcare professionals with the right values; preparing those in training for working in an ever-changing NHS; ensuring that training is multidisciplinary, and that the various health professions learn to work with each other from an early stage; training healthcare professionals who are able to care for a growing number of patients with more than one illness; the changing mix of skill sets and health professions in the future; and the need for leadership, excellent clinical and non-clinical skills; and flexibility.

The issues raised by the round table debate highlighted areas where PU PSMD is getting it right. Both medical and dental students are exposed to the realities of working in the NHS and with patients from an early stage in their studies. Students spend time gaining experience with a wide range of healthcare professionals across the region, from consultants on hospital wards to GP and dental surgeries. They also gain valuable insight into the needs of a variety of groups within the community by working with those groups - such as schools, older people and individuals from disadvantaged groups.

As Robert Sneyd, Dean at PU PSMD said during the debate: “If we want people to do the right stuff, we need to start them doing the right stuff.”

He added: “The round table debate gave us an excellent opportunity to interact with some of the most influential health professionals in the UK and to initiate an important and lively debate around the future of healthcare professional training.
It is vital to us and to the profession as a whole that we train doctors who are fully prepared and equipped to function effectively in an ever-changing NHS. In order to achieve this we work closely with NHS colleagues in the region, both in terms of ‘real time, real place’ placements for our students but also as a source for teaching and research personnel. For us, the relationship between training new doctors, world-leading research and on-going interaction with the NHS is seamless.”

Contributing to the round table debate were:

Alastair McLellan (chair), editor, HSJ
Lisa Rodrigues, independent trustee, NHS Confederation and chief executive, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Dean Royles, director, NHS Employers
Paul Buckley, director of education and standards, General Medical Council
Robert Sneyd, dean, Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry
Penny Newman, executive member, National Association of Primary Care
Alex Mayor, medical director, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
Lord Kakkar, professor of surgery, University College London
Ray Playford, deputy vice-chancellor, Plymouth University
Caroline Langley, director of the academic department, Royal Society of Medicine
Sibby Buckle, English Pharmacy Board
Oliver Colville, MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport
Alison Seabeck, MP for Plymouth Moor View
Jane Dacre, chair, General Medical Council education and training committee


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