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Campaigning for health profession educators

1 October 2010 | last updated: 17 November 2015

A national conference for health educator members was held in November 2010. Members gathered to examine the new health policy agenda; HE budget cuts; potential impacts on health educators and health education provision; and consider ways to both challenge detrimental policy changes and defend health education in HE.

The report of the Health Educators' Summit and speakers' presentation slides can be found here:

At the first event of its kind, in 2008 UCU organised a gathering of health educators to hear a range of guest speakers from the Department of Health; the King's Fund; and sister unions, give a range of perspectives on factors influencing public policy towards the NHS and what they thought were the potential consequences for health profession education. The conference also launched a UCU commissioned report from Professors Basford and Kershaw, A Key Issues Paper: Underpinning the Future of Health Professional Education in the UK.

In their report, Basford and Kershaw highlight the many developments that influence public policy towards the NHS. In addition they have produced a number of discussion points to stimulate debate among UCU members and those involved in the current debates at national level such as the NHS Next Stage Review led by Lord Darzi.

Members agree campaigning themes

Reports from delegate workshops suggested a number of key campaigning messages for UCU, including calls for:

  • expansion of the narrow operations focus of NHS workforce planning mechanisms to include education and training needs
  • direct UCU involvement in health professional education planning mechanisms
  • ring-fencing health education and training budgets
  • highlighting of the vital role of health educators and their need to maintain teaching, research, and clinical credibility.

UCU aims to pursue these campaigning objectives when available opportunities present themselves.

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