London Higher reflections on Universities UK, Medical Schools Council and the Council of Deans of Health response to the NHS long-term workforce plan 

London Higher welcomes the position paper, looking in more depth at how we achieve the longer-term ambition to support and sustain the NHS and the essential role of for educators within this. The high-level plans coming from government now need to be operationalised, and this can only be done with proper engagement with the sector, and with regions. We must continue to involve our educators in decision making to ensure the development of realistic approaches and timelines. 

We support the core recommendations made by UUK, MSC and the Council of Deans of Health and we are keen to see the sector properly engaged, listened to and for the government to work closely with us on this. Local partnership will be key, especially in London which supports a large, diverse population of 10 million people. London offers world leading medical, nursing, midwifery and allied health courses. We want to see our capital continue to thrive and be in a position to deliver high quality courses, offer a good student experience and use technology to support outcomes. 

To do this, it is important to recognise that London need to be properly and meaningfully engaged as it faces challenges due to its size and number of residents, number of trusts, student population and additional costs. London is especially expensive in terms of travel and accommodation costs and both its students and staff have been hit hard by the cost of living. 

As the report recognises, funding must be sustained, with different regions and different arrangements needing to be considered in the development of roadmaps. For example, in London placement capacity for both nursing and medical degrees will need careful consideration and collaboration as it is already at capacity. Apprenticeships will need additional funding to structure and support students through an alternative route. London Higher Nursing & Healthcare and Medicine groups are looking at these issues. 

It is vitally important the government recognises the importance of the partnership between health and higher education and engages proactively with the sector, working with us on a timeline and approach to support collaboration between organisations involved in various stages. As part of this, it is essential the government recognise regional requirements may need different approaches, and that only through appropriate engagement with the London HE sector can it support the capital.