The body being established to hold trusts to account for how they spend £5bn of education and training funding may lack sufficient “authority”, the Royal College of Nursing has warned.

The union’s fears about planned changes to NHS education structures are set out in a report submitted to the NHS Future Forum.

Under government plans, instead of strategic health authorities paying for training, groups of trusts will form “local education and training boards” to pool education funds and decide how they are spent.

Health Education England will distribute around £5bn of training money to the local boards and hold them to account for how they spend it through an outcomes framework, currently being developed.

But the RCN’s submission to the Future Forum says “it is not clear whether HEE will have the authority” to hold the local boards to account.

The government has said it wants to “protect” training funds but may not introduce ringfenced budgets.