Shape of Caring Review seeks evidence

31 July 2014

The Shape of Caring Review is seeking evidence on the education and training of nurses and care assistants to inform its final report.

The review, which is due for publication in February 2015, will ensure that nurses and care assistants receive consistently high quality education and training so they can meet the needs of the population as care patterns and delivery changes over the next 15 years. 

The review is overseen by a Sponsoring Board, which will set the broad strategic direction. The Sponsoring Board is co-chaired by Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, Director of Nursing, Health Education England, and Jackie Smith, Chief Executive and Registrar, Nursing and Midwifery Council. The Review is led by an independent Chair, Lord Willis of Knaresborough. 

Evidence is being sought from across the UK on the type of workforce required to respond to future changes and meet the predicted needs of patients and the public. The review is calling for practical examples around a range of key themes: 

  • Increasing patient/carer voice and service user involvement across education and training.
  • Valuing the role of the care assistant.
  • Widening opportunities for care assistant career progression, which may include entry to nursing education.
  • Assuring flexibility in nursing and care assistant education and training of the future.
  • Assuring high quality practice learning environments which support the development of the future workforce.
  • Assuring predictable and sustainable access for on-going learning and development for registered nurses.
  • Supporting and enabling research and innovation and embedding evidence-based practice.
  • Supporting and enabling research, innovation and embedding evidence-based practice.

Lord Willis of Knaresborough, Independent Chair said:

“Excellent patient care requires a well-trained workforce with nurses and care assistants who have the means to develop their skills and knowledge throughout their careers. Staff want to strive for safer, better care for patients, but they need preparation, support and development to provide consistently good care. 

“This Review must answer some important questions on what we need to do to future proof the workforce and equip our staff with the skills they need to work in a changing environment. In considering these questions, and many others besides, the Review needs to understand as many different perspectives as possible. 

“Across the UK, there are excellent examples of organisations investing in educating and training their nurses and care assistants. I want to learn from these and I hope that as many people as possible will take the time to come to us with solutions. Through identifying areas of best practice and sharing information, the Review will be able to say what excellent education and training should look like and how it should be delivered. 

“I urge everyone with an interest in the education and training of nurses and care assistants to respond to the call for evidence and make their voice heard on this important issue.” 

The call for evidence will close at 17:00 on Wednesday 17 September 2014.



Notes to editors

For further information please contact Richard Green, Head of External Communications at HEE on 07557 204428. 

For more information on the Shape of Caring Review go to:

1.   Lord Willis of Knaresborough is a Lib Dem Peer, former Shadow Minister for Education and author of the recent report Quality with compassion: the future of nursing education. His principle interests are in science policy and medical research where he is currently Chair of the Association of Medical Research Charities. He is an active member of the House of Lords.

2.   HEE was established on 28 June 2012, working as a shadow Special Health Authority from 1 October 2012. It took on its full operational responsibilities from 1 April 2013 and has five national functions:

  • providing national leadership on planning and developing the healthcare and public health workforce
  • promoting high quality education and training that is responsive to the changing needs of patients and local communities, including responsibility for ensuring the effective delivery of important national functions such as medical trainee recruitment
  • ensuring security of supply of the health and public health workforce
  • appointing and supporting the development of LETBs
  • allocating and accounting for NHS education and training resources and the outcomes achieved

For more information on HEE visit or follow on Twitter - @nhs_healthedeng or Facebook -

3.   The NMC is the nursing and midwifery regulator for the UK. It exists to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the public. The NMC:

  • sets standards of education, training, conduct and performance for nurses and midwives
  • holds the register of those who have qualified and meet those standards
  • issues guidance to help nurses and midwives keep their skills and knowledge up to date and uphold our professional standards
  • has clear and transparent processes to investigate and deal with nurses and midwives who fall short of standards

For more information on the NMC visit or follow on Twitter - @nmcnews.