Published: 07/06/2002, Volume II2, No. 5808 Page 8

Workforce planning, funding and regulation should be combined across health and social care, according to a paper published by the Institute of Public Policy Research.

Its authors say: 'A dramatic shift in the scale of skill mix changes will need to take place if the government's vision for health and social care is to be realised.'

The paper by Southampton University's Dr Debra Humphris, director of the 'new generation' interprofessional education project, and deputy dean Professor Dame Jill Macleod Clark, emphasises the importance of 'interprofessional learning in which professionals learn with and from each other in order to enhance collaborative learning'.

The authors call for integrated health and social care workforce planning to be piloted in selected health economies.

They point to the 'key role' of NHS workforce confederations in developing a workforce that is fit for the future, but add: 'It would be logical to involve social services as part of that approach.'