Responding to the future incorporation of HEE into NHSEI, Dr Latifa Patel, chair of the BMA’s representative body said:
"While seeking better alignment of workforce, service and financial planning seems laudable, doctors are rightly concerned that the incorporation of HEE into an ever growing NHSEI will devalue the importance of supporting education and training when compared with the desire to increasing service delivery in the midst of a workforce crisis.
They are worried that a further structural reorganisation will simply distract from the pressing need to deliver a long-term fully funded workforce strategy that provides a lasting solution to chronic staff shortages.
This reorganisation comes at a time when there is an urgent need to minimise and mitigate against disruption to both undergraduate and postgraduate medical education and training as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The medical profession needs significant reassurance from NHSEI and Government that this latest restructure will not prevent or delay the funding needed to deliver high-quality teaching, training and access to educational opportunities.
Only with major investment can recruitment, training and retention of NHS staff truly be put at the heart of the NHS in England.