Number of places for student nursing courses to increase by almost 200 in Wales

A £ 260million funding program for the training of healthcare professionals in Wales will see the creation of nearly 200 additional nursing training places before enrollment, it has been announced.

The Welsh government has approved the Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) education and training plan for the NHS Wales in 2022-2023, which will see a ‘record number’ of training places for healthcare professionals.

“We must continue to train and strengthen our workforce, so that it is prepared for all future challenges”

Eluned Morgan

The investment represents a 15% increase from 2021-2022 and HEIW hopes it will not only increase training opportunities but help maximize the future health and care workforce in Wales , especially amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Nurses union leaders welcomed the additional investment, but warned that retention of existing staff was an “equally urgent” problem.

They were also concerned about the failure to fund post-registration nursing training, including district nursing.

As part of the 2022-2023 training plans, there will be 194 additional places for student nurses in pre-registration available.

In this context, the number of student places in adult nursing care will drop from 1,540 to 1,651 (7%). During this time, the number of mental health nursing positions will increase from 410 to 483 (18%) and learning disability nursing positions will increase from 77 to 87 (13%).

According to the Welsh government, the number of nursing training places has increased by 55% over the past five years.

Also under the plans, there will also be 111 additional medical specialty training places and a commitment to meet a target of 160 general practitioners nationwide.

The Welsh government has said it will also commit to developing other areas of the health workforce, including midwives, allied health professionals and health support workers.

Overall the investment includes £ 18million for education and training programs for healthcare professionals in Wales, an additional £ 5million for medical training venues, nearly 8 million to support the number of basic GP training and a net increase of almost £ 3 million for pharmacy training across Wales.

Eluned Morgan

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said the latest investment was the “eighth year in a row” the government has increased funding for healthcare training places and shows “our commitment to supporting the capacity of the NHS Wales workforce “.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has placed a great demand on our NHS, and we are incredibly proud of how everyone has stepped up to take care of the people of Wales,” she added.

“We must continue to train and strengthen our workforce, so that they are prepared for any future challenges they may face and improve resilience as we attempt to recover from the effects of the pandemic.”

Alex Howells, CEO of HEIW, said she was “delighted” that the training plans were approved.

“Wales is a great place to train and learn, and we are very grateful to the many staff at the NHS and our educational institutions in Wales for their valuable contribution to the teaching and supporting our future workforce, ”she added.

“We welcome the announcement, but what is equally urgent is the retention of our current nurses working in the NHS”

Helene Whyley

The planning process took into account a wide range of workforce information, including current training pathways, training capacity within departments, workforce information and skills. information gathered from organizations as part of their annual plans and education commissioning requirements, noted HEIW.

Helen Whyley, Principal of the Royal College of Nursing in Wales, welcomed the news but said concerns remained about retention and gaps after enrollment.

Helene Whyley

“We welcome the announcement of the additional student nursing places for all pre-enrolled nurses, but equally urgent is the retention of our current nurses working in the NHS,” he said. she declared.

A Welsh government retention strategy, as previously requested by the college, was “crucial”, she warned, and must include “ensuring safe nursing levels, access to continuing professional development, flexible work opportunities and fair remuneration ”.

Ms Whyley added that it was “disheartening that the Welsh government has not increased spending on post-registration training and in particular the number of places reserved for district nurses in Wales”.

District nurses are a “valuable resource,” she noted, noting that there were “fewer” now than ten years ago, despite the increased demand and complexity among nurses. people cared for at home.

According to RCN Wales, there was a 6% drop in the number of district nurses in Wales between June 2020 and June 2021 alone.

HEIW is a special health authority within NHS Wales. He sits alongside boards and trusts and plays a leading role in the education, training, development and training of healthcare workers in Wales.

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