LETBs were introduced as part of a new framework aiming to improve the quality of education and training for the health and public health workforce in England. This framework was set out by the government white paper Liberating the NHS: Developing the Healthcare Workforce. LETBs replaced the 10 regional strategic health authorities (SHAs), which reported to the Department of Health and originally managed the £5 billion central budget for education and training for the NHS workforce. LETBs are provider led, aiming to put employers in the driving seat.
The purpose of LETBs is to:
- agree local priorities for education and training to ensure security of supply
- plan and commission education and training on behalf of the local health community
- be a forum for delivering the whole health and public health workforce.
The LETB landscape is still emerging. The map below shows LETBs across England as of October 2012. There are 13 LETB areas, with eight LETBs retaining an SHA footprint. This may change as more details of LETBs become known.