The government has been urged to reconsider proposals that would force the private sector to contribute to NHS training costs amid fears it will result in firms recruiting from overseas.

The NHS Future Forum’s report on education and training said a plan to impose a levy on all providers employing staff trained by the health service has “potential side effects”.

The report says: “This may lead to such organisations seeking to recruit from outside the UK. We were informed by charities that if this levy were imposed they would reconsider their approach to NHS work, including employing staff from Europe, or no longer undertaking it.”

The idea - raised in the consultation paper Liberating the NHS: Developing the Healthcare Workforce and supported by Monitor’s chair David Bennett - should be “modelled in detail following wide consultation”, according to the forum.

As previously revealed on, the report also says there is an “urgent requirement” to put in place arrangements to ensure deanery functions continue as strategic health authorities wind down ahead of their abolition next year.

The report states: “There was significant concern that, due to uncertainty over their future, many staff from the workforce directorates and PG Deaneries had left or planned to leave causing actual and potential problems with essential functions such as recruitment of medical trainees, oversight of training rotations and supervision of trainees’ performance.”

It says teaching hospitals could host deanery functions until any new structures are established.

Planned groups of providers, which would become legal entities and enter into education contracts under the government’s current plans, should remain in the NHS, the forum believed.

Giving them more responsibility for almost £5bn of training funding meant that consideration should be given to establishing independent chairs and members to “ensure any potential or perceived conflicts of interest are addressed.”

Monitor should be involved in setting educational tariffs, the report says.