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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to promote the professional development of sickle cell anaemia practitioners; if he will assess the merits of making the Sickle Cell Adult and Child Care Standards a minimum requirement for practitioners, with penalties in place for non-compliance; and if he will make a statement.
The content and standard of health care training is the responsibility of the professional regulators. Their role is that of custodian of quality standards in education and practice. These bodies have a responsibility to ensure that health care practitioners are equipped to deal with the problems they will encounter in practice.
The Department is aware of the need to ensure perceived areas of weakness in training curricula in respect of sickle cell anaemia are addressed. For that reason, in 2010 health officials met with representatives of the Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia All-Party Parliamentary Group and other relevant organisations, including the health Royal Colleges to promote awareness and the appropriate coverage of these conditions in training curricula. As a result curricula were reviewed and a number of changes and additions have been implemented and arrangements established to co-ordinate future liaison and proposals to raise awareness of sickle cell and thalassaemia.