£95 million funding package announced to support NHS training and education
Physician Associates course gets 2017 funding
Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething, has announced a £95 million package to support a range of education and training programmes for healthcare professionals in Wales. The funding package includes an additional cohort of Physician Associate training places available from September 2017 at Swansea University Medical School.
This significant investment will support nurses, physiotherapists, radiographers and a range of health science training opportunities. It will enable more than 3000 new students to join those already studying healthcare education programs across Wales.
The funding builds on Welsh Government funding already in place for nursing, providing more than a 13% increase in nursing training places, on top of the 10% increase in 2016/17 and 22% increase in 2015/16. Midwifery training places will increase by 40%.
The support package will also provide an additional £500,000 to support community healthcare such as advanced practice, education and extended skills training to support primary care clusters.
There will also be a significant increase in practice nurse and district nurse education as well as audiology training places within primary and community settings. This will provide vital funding for community services and will ensure many more patients can be cared for closer to home, rather than in hospital.
Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething said: “We rely on the skills, knowledge and experience of those providing the care in the NHS on a daily basis.
“This includes nurses and paramedics as well as those behind the scenes, who provide vital support services such as laboratory tests to enable diagnoses to be made and “treatment to be provided.
“Education and training is fundamental to ensuring the sustainability of our workforce.
“This £95m investment will ensure that our healthcare professionals are able to provide high quality care now and in the future and that patients’ will be able to receive care closer to home.“
The funding package also includes an additional cohort of physician associate training places available from September 2017 with 12 of these places hosted by Bangor University and 20 hosted by Swansea University.
It will also support the integration of hospital and community pharmacy training into one programme.
Swansea University offers a midwifery course that currently has a 100 per cent employment success rate within six months of graduation.
Professor Ceri Phillips, head of the College of Human and Health Sciences at Swansea University, said: "It is the case that those who choose to study locally tend to take up employment opportunities in the region and we welcome the opportunity to contribute to increasing and developing the future workforce of the NHS within this part of Wales.
"The college provides programmes in both its Swansea and Carmarthen sites and the increase in student numbers will be embraced within both locations.
"The college is also very conscious of the excessive sums of money that are currently paid to agencies to offset the shortages in the current workforce and it is evident that, by educating and training more nurses, midwives and other healthcare professionals in the medium-term, these financial pressures will be reduced by a sustained commitment to increasing the supply of the trained workforce".
Professor Keith Lloyd, Dean and Head of Swansea University Medical School, said: "I am very grateful to Welsh Government for funding the additional physician associate places so that we can train more people to deliver the NHS workforce for Wales."