Health Education England (HEE) will cease to exist as a separate entity on April 1, as it completes a merger with NHS England that is designed to improve efficiency, diagnosis, treatment and services, and reduce duplication.

Following the merger, NHS England will take on responsibility for HEE’s activities, including planning, recruiting, education and training the health workforce; and ensuring that the health workforce has the right numbers, skills, values and behaviours in place to deliver the highest quality healthcare and health improvement to patients and the public.

The changes are taking place alongside the redesign of the health service around the establishment of integrated care systems (ICSs).

NHS England previously merged with NHS Digital on 1 February 2023. After April 1, HEE systems, functions, process and structures will continue to operate as normal with contracts automatically transferring to NHS England with the terms and conditions going on unchanged.

HEE director of innovation digital and transformation Patrick Mitchell told Digital Health in a written statement: “As HEE moves into the new NHS England we will form a new Workforce, Training and Education directorate as part of the new organisation.

“Within that will be the NHS Digital Academy, Technology Enhanced Learning and Blended Learning programmes of activity – they are funded and will continue to develop their work areas as planned.”

On its website, HEE said the merger will allow it to collaborate more effectively and allow local organisations to benefit from a wide range of specialist support and expertise.