Report highlights inequities in cuts of CPD funding for AHPs and nurses22 September 2016
The British Dietetic Association is pleased to see the report from the Council of Deans of Health which highlights the inequities in cuts of CPD funding for allied health professionals and nurses.
The British Dietetic Association (BDA), founded in 1936, is the professional association and trade union for dietitians (the only legally regulated nutrition professionals) in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is the nation’s largest organisation of food and nutrition professionals with over 8,500 members.
This report firmly places the spotlight on an underreported impact of the lack of NHS funding. At a time in NHS history when pressures on staff are more intense than at any time and when staff are being expected to deliver more and differently, it is very disappointing to see that the government thinks it is right to reduce the opportunities for the vital education and learning necessary to make these important changes a reality.
As the report identifies, the reduction in funding impacts particularly badly on small professions such as dietetics where their needs are most likely not to be met locally in block contracts. The NHS is particularly struggling to recruit and retain staff in London and CPD is an important incentive which is being systematically removed or reduced. The BDA has received reports from members that they are unable to access important CPD such as supplementary prescribing courses because of funding. This means that patients are not going to realise the planned benefits of dietetic prescribing and will continue to need multiple costly interventions rather than a single appointment with a dietitian.
The BDA raised the issue of CPD at the recent TUC Congress by speaking in support of a motion from the Hospital Consultants’ Union on contractual CPD time for senior doctors. In doing so, BDA delegate, Dennis Edmondson, highlighted the vital importance of ensuring adequate funding and support for the training and development of all health professionals. As a result of this debate the TUC now has a policy position that advocates the recognition of the vital role CPD has in the sustainability of a first class NHS.
Dennis Edmonson, BDA Trade Union Board member said, “In order to fulfil and sustain the aspiration of a world-class health service we must recognise and acknowledge the pivotal role that training and research underpins all that we do within multidisciplinary teams, in the provision of up-to-date, evidence-based clinical practice and patient care.”
The BDA Trade Union will continue to play a key role in the TUC and the NHS Staff Council in calling for proper funding to allow dietitians and other allied health professionals protected time for research, development, training and mentoring to underpin excellent patient care. The BDA continues to raise this issue with NHS England and Health Education England to apply pressure and to ensure the vital needs of smaller professions are not lost.
Read the full report online.