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20.02.17

Welsh government unveils £95m to support healthcare training and education

A package of £95m has been announced today to support a range of education and training programmes for healthcare professionals in Wales.

The funding has been put in place to support nurses, physiotherapists, radiographers and a range of health science training opportunities – as well as enabling more than 3,000 new students to get on to health care education programmes in Wales.

This new money follows funding already in place to for nursing that has provided an increase of 13% more places on training programmes, as well as a 40% increase on places for midwifery.

The Welsh Parliament has also promised a “significant increase” in practice and district nurse education, in a bid to allow more patients to be looked after at home rather than in hospital.

Speaking about the funding Welsh 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 me made and treatment to be provided.

Gething also stressed the importance of training and education for the sustainability of the NHS workforce in Wales.

He finished by saying: “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 Royal College of Nursing’s associate director Peter Meredith-Smith told the BBC that “clearly it will take a few years for the full effects of this investment to fully bear fruit”, with a time-lag between the new money flowing into the system and nurses completing their education and training.

“However, the impact of this announcement on the morale of frontline staff should not be under-estimated,” he said.

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. 

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