To mark the official launch of a new body to deliver education and training for the NHS workforce in Wales, Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething, has announced an extra £10 million funding boost for online training.

Health Education Improvement Wales (HEIW) has officially been launched, and brings together the Wales Deanery, the Wales Centre for Pharmacy Professional Education, and NHS Wales’ Workforce, Education and Development Services to provide a single approach to commissioning, planning, and developing the education and training of the NHS workforce.

HEIW will provide continual learning opportunities, which will be critical to responding to technological advances in the health sector. It will also be responsible for workforce planning and promoting NHS careers.

Approximately £10 million will be invested in the NHS Wales e-library over three years, which provides learning materials for all NHS Wales staff, including access to e-journals, research papers, and other cutting-edge information.

The Health Secretary explained, ‘We’ve set out our long-term plan to transform the health service, bringing services closer to home, and moving from a reliance on hospitals. Having a strong and sustainable workforce is vital to driving this transformation, and is one of the key reasons we are launching HEIW today.

‘HEIW will help nurture and grow the people and organisations that will deliver the next stage of development of our NHS and in turn will deliver better services for the people of Wales.’

Additionally, Chair of HEIW, Dr Chris Jones, added, ‘Supporting NHS Wales, and working closely with Social Care Wales, HEIW will bring a focus and energy to developing the healthcare workforce of the future. It gives us an exciting opportunity to build our reputation in Wales for healthcare education, training, recruitment, and retention.

‘As the 11th health body, we look forward to working with our NHS partners, the wider health organisations, and our education partners to improve care through service transformation; building a well-trained workforce enabled to adapt to emerging technologies and excellence in care.’