REBECCA EVANS AM has attended a workshop to ensure that doctor training in Wales delivers a workforce with the skills that meet the needs of both the public and NHS.
The workshop was led by the Wales Deanery, the body whose responsibility it is to commission, quality assure and support the education and training of trainees, hospital doctors, GPs, and dentists in Wales.
The workshop came in response to the Greenaway Review.
Mrs Evans explained: “In 2011, it was agreed that Professor David Greenaway, the Vice Chair of Nottingham University, should act as independent Chair of an expert group which would consider and make recommendations on various aspects of doctor training. These aspects included workforce needs and the balance between specialists and generalists, the breadth and scope of training, and patient needs.”
Professor Greenaway issued a report towards the end of last year, making nineteen recommendations.
The Wales Deanery held the workshop to explore the implications of the report and recommendations for Wales.
Mrs Evans said: “The report makes some interesting recommendations in terms of delivering a workforce in future where doctors have a wider base of general skills enabling them to treat a greater range of patients safely and effectively.
“The current model of medical training is based on a high degree of specialisation and sub-specialisation of medical practice – there are more than 60 specialities and 35 sub-specialities. This model means that the workforce is heavily weighted towards specialisation, but what we need are more generalists – particularly, it could be argued, in Wales’ more rural hospitals.
“The report also suggests moving to a model where doctors specialise based on the identified needs of the local population and the NHS. This is a real shift from the current practice which is led by individuals’ own preferences which do not necessarily best meet the health needs of the public.”
The Greenaway Review is a UK-wide piece of work. A key recommendation of the review was that “There should be immediate consideration to set up a UK-wide Delivery Group to take forward the recommendations in this report and to identify which organisations should lead on specific outcomes.”
Mrs Evans said “I understand that there is already a four-nation approach to this, which should be welcomed. Wales’ Heath Minister, Mark Drakeford, is the only one of the four Health Ministers so far to have formally responded to the report – I am glad we are leading the way.”