And the next consultation appears over the horizon, with another 78 pages adding to my Christmas reading list.  I even wondered if I could create a “12 days of Christmas” based on all the documents on my desk,  but couldn’t get beyond the first day of Christmas without losing momentum. It does feel as if it is “snowing” consultation documents.


Developing the Healthcare workforce proposes employers taking responsibility for funding for education, under the guise of increased autonomy and accountability. Nice reframing.  HEE (Health Education England) replaces MEE (Medical Education England)  as a Lean and expert organisation. A LEAN, Mean, teaching machine?


And the public health workforce ….we are to see consultation on a workforce strategy during 2011.  Are they part of the HEE? Should local government be included?  So many questions.


Meanwhile, staff are still doing their best to deliver the best outcomes while all around them is changing.  Here in Portsmouth, I can report that Public Health Practitioner Training has been launched, with 21 staff signed up.  There had been talk of national registration of the public health workforce particularly for bands 5-7, with a requirement to produce evidence of competence. In the face of doubt that this would proceed, South Central decided to go ahead and has funded a programme with the Open University. Now it looks as if national registration WILL go ahead – and Portsmouth staff will be among the first to complete portfolios for registration.   The next stage will be the creation of “defined specialists” for staff above band 7.


I guess my message is that with all of the consultations going on and the radical changes that will inevitably happen during 2011 and 2012, life (and work) still go on. Staff still need to be competent and confident and qualified to achieve best outcomes for patients.  Statutory and Mandatory training doesn’t stop being essential, and while we shift our focus to supporting staff through transition, education and training must not fall off the radar.


As I write, our calendar of development opportunities for next year is about to be published. Our annual awards ceremony last month recognised those staff who had completed qualifications, and Portsmouth Football Club’s Linvoy Primus presented certificates.  Not surprisingly, uptake of NVQ programmes is healthy for next year!


We started 2010 with commissioner provider separation – and we have ended it with an even more complicated landscape, maps still being drawn, and destinations uncertain.  Here’s to safe journeys for 2011… don’t forget your snow shoes.