More clinical placements welcome but workforce challenges remain

09 August 2017

 

The Department of Health has published further details about plans to expand medical education places, which were originally announced last autumn.

It has also said there will be funding for 10,000 additional training places for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals.

Health minister Philip Dunne also confirmed that an extra 1,500 doctors a year will be trained in the NHS by 2020.

 

The chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson said:

“The government announced an expansion in medical education places last autumn. We now have some further details on how those places will be allocated.

“We welcome the funding commitment for additional clinical placements to support the planned increase in healthcare students, including nurses, over the coming years. This will help to provide clarity for trusts and universities as they plan for the future.

“It is encouraging that applications for nursing education places remain high, albeit at lower levels than previous years, following the replacement of bursaries with student loans.  However it is not yet clear what the impact has been on numbers of mature students which will be key for the mental health sector and smaller courses such as learning disability nursing.

Workforce problems are now the number one concern for many trusts and we need to be realistic about how much these measures, by themselves, solve these problems.

“Workforce problems are now the number one concern for many trusts and we need to be realistic about how much these measures, by themselves, solve these problems. They are a helpful step in the right long term direction. But they do nothing to address current workforce shortages, increasingly uncompetitive NHS pay, the growing stress and pressure on NHS staff and Brexit uncertainties. We urgently need a concerted approach on these and other fronts before the NHS can say it has a full, credible, realistic, plan to address the biggest problem it currently faces”.

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