Mr. Andy Stewart
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps Her Majesty's Government are taking to bring about closer working between health and education interests in the field of medical education.
§ Mr. Newton
The Croham report on the review of the University Grants Committee, (Cmnd. 81), published earlier this year, recommended that the Department of Education and Science and the Health Departments should take steps to improve joint working in the field of medical education. A programme of action in response to the report included the issue of joint guidance to both health authorities and universities in March. The permanent secretaries of the Departments of Health and Social Security (DHSS) and Education and Science (DES) and the chief medical officers of DHSS and the Scottish Home and Health Department held a meeting on medical education on 12 November with, among others, the chairman of the University Grants Committee, the president of the General Medical Council, the chairman of the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals and a578W chairman representing regional health authorities. The meeting agreed that a steering group should be established under the chairmanship of Mr. Michael Partridge, second permanent secretary of the DHSS, to bring together the national agencies with an interest in medical education and to consider how the current arrangements for under-graduate medical education can be improved to ensure that the policies and programmes of the bodies concerned are properly co-ordinated and directed. The group will report as necessary on the issues considered to the relevant national agencies.