Jeremy Hunt again pushes plans to train more doctors and nurses

The former health secretary argues doing so will help reduce the £6 billion annual bill for locums and improve patient care.

Benjamin Cooper
Sunday 26 December 2021 07:06
Jeremy Hunt has again called on ministers to back plans to train more medics for the NHS (Peter Byrne/PA)
Jeremy Hunt has again called on ministers to back plans to train more medics for the NHS (Peter Byrne/PA)

Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt has again called on ministers to back plans to train more medics for the NHS.

Mr Hunt’s amendment to the Health and Care Bill calls for independent assessments to be published every two years setting out the current and future workforce needs for health and social care.

It was supported by MPs from across the political spectrum and backed by more than 60 health and care organisations, but despite 18 Conservative MPs backing the proposal it was ultimately rejected by 280 votes to 219 in the Commons last month.

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Hunt said the UK needs to “sort out” the reason it has failed to train the number of doctors and nurses “we actually need”.

Jeremy Hunt said ‘independent, public forecasts’ are needed on the numbers of medics required in the NHS (PA)

He added: “Yes, it costs more to train additional doctors, but it costs even more not to train them because we then hire expensive locum doctors and agency nurses.

“We should amend the Health and Care Bill so that there are independent, public forecasts of the numbers we should be training. I hope the Government accepts a House of Lords amendment to do this.”

Mr Hunt, chairman of the Commons Health and Social Care Committee, also said “targets culture” is effecting standards, as he called for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to be able to “get on with” its job.

“We should let the CQC get on with doing the same job as Ofsted in the NHS, as it does very effectively, without the lumbering bureaucracy of national targets,” he said.

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