Department of Health written question – answered on 23rd December 2015.

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Photo of Andrew Percy Andrew Percy Conservative, Brigg and Goole

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if his Department will encourage clinical commissioning groups to prevent inequalities through adequate HCP outsourcing and training on medical nutrition.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Preventing health inequalities is a priority for the Department of Health. The Health and Social Care Act 2012 placed a duty on the Secretary of State to have regard to the need for reducing health inequalities between the people of England and the National Health Service. Clinical commissioning groups take forward this duty in terms of access to, and quality of, local services.

The role of health care professionals is integral to this effort, given that they address a range of health unhealthy behaviours, including around poor nutrition and obesity. It is the responsibility of the professional regulators to set the standards and outcomes for education and training and approve training curricular to ensure newly qualified healthcare professionals are equipped with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to prove high quality patient care. In the case of dietitians, this includes being able to accurately assess nutritional needs of individuals, groups and populations.

NHS England has the lead in supporting the work of CCGs and, while it has previously undertaken a mapping exercise to gauge the extent of formal training and education on these issues for pre-registration courses, it is not currently undertaking any work on this.

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