(2) what steps his Department is taking to prevent strategic health authorities in England reducing the number of audiology training courses.
Local national health service organisations are best placed to assess the health needs of their local health community and plan the workforce they need. Strategic health authorities are responsible for commissioning the correct number of training places to meet the needs of the local population.
Working with stakeholders, we are developing a range of education and training programmes which will have a focus on audiology as part of Modernising Scientific Careers. These will encompass the needs of both adult and paediatric services. We are working with strategic health authorities to ensure a smooth transition to implementation.
The responsibility for setting education standards on pre-registration training courses for health professionals rests with the independent health regulatory bodies. The content and standards of postgraduate training for doctors is the responsibility of the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board. Ongoing training for all staff is the responsibility of employers, who are best placed to understand the training needs of their staff. Specific training courses in deaf awareness are available and are provided at a local level, according to need.