More NHS staff to be trained as £80m invested in health education
An £80m investment by the Welsh Government will increase training places for the next generation of healthcare professionals by 16% next year, Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford announced yesterday (Wednesday February 11).
The number of nurses being trained in 2015-16 will increase by more than a fifth (22%), while the number of paramedic places available will increase by 161% compared to the 2014-15 academic year.
The £80m will also support the education and training of a range of other healthcare professionals, including physiotherapists and occupational therapists. The number of training places funded is based on plans developed by health boards and NHS trusts in Wales and has been discussed with healthcare unions and representatives.
The funding will build upon work already undertaken to develop healthcare support workers in Wales, to enable healthcare professionals to extend their skills, knowledge and experience and support advanced practitioners across a range of professions.
Welsh Government investment in health professional education exceeds £350m every year, supporting 15,000-plus students and trainees in Wales.
The £80m for the 2015-16 academic year will support 2,498 new students to undertake an education programme and continue the education of 6,881 students in training.
The increase in the number of training places in 2015-16 compared includes:
- Nursing – 230 extra places, an increase of 22%
- Paramedic training – 58 extra places, an increase of 161%
- Occupational therapists – 23 extra places, an increase of 26%
- Physiotherapy – 25 extra places, an increase of 26%
- Diagnostic radiography – 19 extra places, an increase of 26%
- Speech and language therapy – seven extra places, an increase of 19%
- Clinical scientists – nine extra places, an increase of 52%
- Dental hygienists and technicians – nine extra places, an increase of 41%.
Professor Drakeford said:
“We are creating extra training and education places in 2015-16 to increase the next generation of health professionals to meet the needs of patients across Wales. This £80m investment is based on what NHS organisations have told us they need to maintain services in the future.
“We are taking a planned and considered approach to make sure our NHS continues to provide fantastic care 24-hours-a-day, every day of the year.
“Good health education and training is essential to maintain and improve the standards of care provided to patients across Wales. Sustainable healthcare requires a highly-skilled and flexible workforce, which is agile enough to respond to the many challenges the NHS faces but rooted in the traditions of the health service - compassionate, patient centred, free at the point of delivery and universally available.”
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