I read with interest Professor David Cox's letter (6 November). As vice-chair of the West Yorkshire education and training consortium, I am proud that it works extremely well in education commissioning and collaborative working.
As service providers we must influence education commissions and their quality.
The non-medical education and training changes have provided all the benefits that Professor Cox stated in his letter, but in addition they have enabled us to build stronger relationships with our local education providers in a partnership approach that works well. I would be reluctant to go back to a centralised system that is not responsive to local needs and provides the opportunity for employers to opt out. In terms of bureaucracy, regional offices have slimmed down tremendously without a parallel increase in consortia staffing.
As we are looking at the shape of the workforce into the year 2000, it is vitally important that employers are part of the education commissioning and contracting process and that this is responsive to local needs. So please do not bring back a central funding authority to contract with consortia; this would indeed be bureaucracy gone mad. The consortium is the body that should contract with universities to provide education and training.
Human resources director,
Pinderfields and Pontefract Hospitals trust.