A fund of £10m will be invested in clinical placement programmes to support new undergraduate nurses have been announced by Health Education England (HEE) to boost nursing workforce numbers.
The funding builds on work last year that resulted in the number of clinical placements for nursing students increase by more than 7500, enabling an additional 1400 student nurses to start their training in September 2019.
‘Nursing is centre stage in the NHS, valued by patients across the country, it is important to highlight how nursing will continue to be a driving force of change in healthcare,’ said Mark Radford, chief nurse at HEE.
‘We recognise some of the challenges for workforce, the rising demand across a health and social care, the worldwide challenges and the need to inspire new generations of people who want to come into our profession.’
Speaking to delegates at the Chief Nursing Officer’s Summit in Birmingham, Mr Radford also set out plans to boost Learning Disability nursing, invest in Return to Practice Programmes and workforce transformation. A total of £2m will be invested in 2020 into learning disability nursing, with over 200 additional starters on apprentice routes. He also used to speech to highlight the need for nurse leaders to come together to tackle workforce issues and the work HEE has already undertaken to support the sector.
‘I see this a challenge for us as leaders - and the one that I put to you today is absolutely the one that we can lead and change and how do we do that is through collective support and partnerships,’ added Mr Radford.
‘We have seen over the last year are closer working relationship between all parts of the healthcare system – it certainly isn’t perfect or complete – but we are now seeing change through greater system partnership at national and local levels. As I have highlighted we are focussing on a number of initiatives to boost nursing numbers in support of the government commitment to 50,000 nurses. In particular in crucial areas including learning disability and district and investing in supporting new routes into nursing and CPD as well as encouraging nurses to return to practice.’